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11.3. Advantages and Disadvantages

A number of advantages exist for designing a site that uses client-side XSLT. The first is that it really looks good on the old resuméstrike that. The first is that it becomes possible to design more dynamic websites that can take advantage of the client's machine. In addition, the amount of information can be reduced by caching the XSL style sheets on the client machine. However, if the resources available on the client become something of an issue, there are always alternatives.

The first alternative that comes to mind is to not cache the XSL at all; instead, it could be sent back and forth along with the XML. For large sites, another possibility is to cache only a certain number of pages. This could be handled in sort of a stack: first in, first out.

Concerning caching, one additional idea comes to mind: Forgo the preload entirely. Instead, style sheets could be loaded on an as-needed basis. After being loaded, they could then be cached. The interesting thing about this idea is that, from the client's perspective, performance would improve over timealmost as if the site got better with practice. Talk about mad scientist stuff!

Alas, all of this is for naught if the client's browser doesn't support transformations. Not all of them do. I suppose that an alternative should be made available for those that, for some reason, are still running Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0. No, I don't mean server-side transformations to accommodate luddites; I'm thinking more along the lines of a link to www.mozilla.org, where they can join everyone else in the twenty-first century.


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