The SXalan package
This package is an extension to the Xalan-C XSL translator which
provides access to functionality written in the S language (and
specifically R) during the processing of XML and XSL documents. This
allows one to use S functions to create content dynamically at the
time the document is being created.
In the near future, we may use the same extension approach
to embed R in the Gnome XSL translator
The advantage of this approach is that it allows one to separate the
formatting from the generation of output from statistical software but
to have them integrated at the time one creates the document. This
allows one to avoid running the statistical software in one window and
cutting and pasting the results into a document, or having the
statistical software write output to files that are latter included
into a larger document.
Possible uses for this package include
- Report generation
- The XML input acts as a template whose place-holders are
expanded when the XSL processing is done using data that is
available at that time. Documents such as nightly reports
can then be produced with a format specified in the XML file,
but with data integrated dynamically.
- Reproducible reports (research, simulation, etc.)
The report can be created as self-contained, single object
from which we can generate all the contents. This avoids
synchronizing figures, tables and results in the document with
other files which may be based on different data, etc.
Additionally, these reports can be re-processed with different
inputs to generate similarly styled documents, but with
different results. This allows what-if analyses to be
done relatively easily and consistently with the original
The Xalan translator was created and released by the Apache Software Foundation.
(Obviously, they have no responsibility for this extension, but we are
very grateful for their well-designed code.)
In other words:
This product includes software developed by the
Apache Software Foundation (http://www.apache.org/).
The current version is available as a
GNU-zipped tar file
See the README and INSTALL files for instructions on using and
installing the package.
There are currently just a (very) few examples
- S in XSLT
- Some notes and documentation.
- The FAQ
- Some questions and answers to problems and issues we have found.
- A list of some of the features of the package.
- An S package for reading and writing S objects formatted using
functions and access S objects as well as allowing S to call
- An package for reading and writing XML within S.
Duncan Temple Lang
Last modified: Sun Apr 22 16:36:59 EDT 2001