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Using PHP and XML with Apache Cocoon

By Darren Beale
on July 30, 2000

First off, for those of you who don’t know what Cocoon is, check out
http://xml.apache.org where you can
download the source and read up on it. In short Cocoon is a suite of
Java Servlets that sit on your server waiting for .xml pages and then –
if applicable – it applies the relevant XSL transformations. With one XML
page and different XSL pages you can deliver rendered output suitable for
your Browser, for example HTML for your Desktop or WML for your WAP device.
I’ve been playing with Cocoon as a “learning” project for some time now but
my main problem has been that of generating the XML dynamicly by using PHP
and then using Cocoon to do the transformations. You can??t embed PHP into a
.xml page because Cocoon doesn’t recognise it and to write XSP’s I needed to
learn Java, which at the current time is not an option for me.
Prompted by a few postings to the PHP4Beta list I realised that it would be
possible to employ a workaround and still use PHP, so I set off to see if I
could get it to work. Needless to say I did, so here is a very simple example
of using PHP to generate XML dynamically and then using Cocoon to give me browser friendly mark-up.