XML Tools I’d Like To See Built For Visual Studio.Net
While at this year’s XMLDevCon I came up with 2 VS.Net add-ins that I’d wanted to write and release as open source for .Net. I was withholding the ideas figuring that I would find time to write them, but it has been a couple months and I haven’t even begun work on them. So, I’ll publish them here, and hopefully someone else will help take up the gauntlet.
In .Net 2.0, XSLT will compile down to IL (and you can debug it in VS.Net). The add-in I’d like to see is one that would let you compile your XSLT right into your .Net project and not need (a) separate XSLT file(s). Yes, I know that you may not want this in all circumstances, but there are a lot of times that my XSLT is pretty much static. I’ll pass in parameters, just like any XSLT, but isn’t a shame that I have to always treat XSLT like a resource file, and have to do all this compiling and caching on the fly. Wouldn’t it be cool to just compile it into your project when you wanted it? An extension of this idea would not to just include the IL in your project, but use something like Lutz Roeder’s Reflector to generate your favorite .Net language and make that part of your project (effectively making XSLT a code generation language within .Net). Some things are just easier to write in XSLT.
The other add-in is really just an extension of the XSLT idea, and that is to do the same thing for XML Schema. Why does the XML schemas always have to be a separate file, and dynamically “compiled” and used. Actually, compiling XML Schema down to IL, and including it in a project would probably be used more often then someone would use the XSLT add-in. And, if we use Reflector, you could even add some validation rules that couldn’t be done well in XML Schema (think Schematron). I guess that would turn XML Schema into a code generation tool, but I don’t think that is so bad.
The preceding blog entry has been syndicated from the DonXML Demsak’s All Things Techie Blog. Please post all comments on the original post.