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Appendix E. The AxKit XML Application Server

AxKit is an XML application server written using the mod_perl framework. At its core, AxKit provides the developer with many ways to set up server-side XML transformations. This allows you to rapidly develop sites that use XML, allowing delivery of the same content in different formats. It also allows you to change the layout of your site very easily, due to the forced separation of content from presentation.

This appendix gives an overview of the ways you can put AxKit to use on your mod_perl-enabled server. It is not a complete description of all the capabilities of AxKit. For more detailed information, please take a look at the documentation provided on the AxKit web site at Commercial support and consultancy services for AxKit also are available at this site.

There are a number of benefits of using XML for content delivery:

  • Perhaps the most obvious benefit is the longevity of your data. XML is a format that is going to be around for a very long time, and if you use XML, your data (the content of your site) can be processed using standard tools for multiple platforms and languages for years to come.

  • If you use XSLT as a templating solution, you can pick from a number of different implementations. This allows you to easily switch between tools that best suit your task at hand.

  • XSLT takes a fundamentally different approach to templating than almost every other Perl templating solution. Rather than focusing on "sandwiching" the data into the template at various positions, XSLT transforms a tree representation of your data into another tree. This not only makes the output (in the case of HTML) less prone to mismatched tags, but it also makes chained processing, in which the output of one transformation becomes the input of another, a lot simpler and faster.

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