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Cookbook for Geeks: An XML challenge

Those who know me already know that I’ve been hard at work on a free recipe ebook for geeks. I should be making this public in the next month (or even sooner).

It’s a test project for learning about xml and xslt. Technically, one problem I’m facing is the lack of a good schema for recipes (I can find several DTDs). It is possible to merge xml documents from different namespaces into a resulting xml document, but only if these xml documents came from schemas. My thought after learning about this requirement was: why the heck would anyone want to still use DTDs?

Here’s the use case. I want to create separate xml files for each recipe and then include commentary for each recipe and each category of recipe. So I’d have a chapter about chicken recipes; that would include an intro, the recipes themselves and commentaries on each recipes.

I could cheat and just do everything on docbook.

Here’s  a nice list of easy-to-do and inexpensive recipes.

Recently I’ve been enjoying a pda software product called Listpro. It lets you create shopping lists (with checklists, etc). Handy. It is possible to create  lists which you can share with other people.  I just noticed it has a section for notes where you can type recipe instructions. On the content creation side, you can import comma-separated or tab-separated files, so theoretically it is possible to manage it from a single xml file.

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