I’ve been meddling with the XML and XSLT that’s used to generate the main Batsocks.co.uk website. I’m making the following changes:

TellyMate User Guide.
I had a request a few weeks ago for a downloadable .pdf version of the User Guide. To make that a reality, it means having a version of the User Guide on a single web-page. To do that means that, I need to somehow have a more ‘defined’ relationship between the various pages in the User Guide (beyond the current ‘siblings’ relationship).

This has meant some simple XML shuffling, and some horrendous XSLT shenanigans.

XSLT is not for the faint-hearted.
It’s another way of thinking.
It’s taken me a couple of evenings to re-acquaint my brain with document trees and functional programming. I think I’m there now. Again.

Data-driven control sequence tables
I’ve also taken this opportunity to make an XML file that details all the control sequences (I don’t know why I didn’t recognise this as “data” before). I’ll build the ‘Control’ section of the User Guide from this.

If I manage to get it all correct, it should mean relatively little cosmetic changes to the existing pages. My biggest problem is going to be how/where to link to the .pdf and printer-friendly versions of the User Guide.
I should have the (not very different looking) new User Guide up by the end of the weekend (27/28th Feb).

[edit: It’s looking like this update is running a little behind – It looks like the first few days of March is a more realistic target – I still need to find a place for the ‘print version / .pdf’ link, and to generate the .pdf file etc.]
[edit: The website’s been updated (there should be almost no discernable difference) – I’ve still not worked out where to put the link to the single-page version though.]