I need to represent the content of pattr generated XML files in a
human-readable form, eg. as abulated and properly line-fed ASCII
files that can be emailed and read on any computer. I guess I can
write a parser in Java or Ruby, but this is going to be a fairly
boring excercise, plus I have a gut feeling that I’ll be reinventing
I had a look at off-the-shelf XML editors, but the Oxygen thing I
found is huge, much too sophisticated and expensive.
Converting XML to other formats is the function of XSLT, which comes bundled
with oXygen. Although oXygen is large and not cheap, if you want to do this
yourself, it is probably the best way of doing it. Thankfully the app comes
with a free fully functional 30-day demo mode, so if you want to try it
first, then you can do so at no cost.
Just stripping markup and formatting text is one of the standard tasks in
XSLT, and a recipe is given in Sal Mangano’s "XSLT Cookbook", O’Reilly, ISBN
XSLT also makes the trip to HTML easy if you want formatted output, and
oXygen comes with some nice examples. If you want to go to PostScript or
Acrobat PDF, then it gets a big harder, using FO, which is again part of
oXygen. You can also go to RTF if you prefer, using free 3rd party tools.