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XML to JSON Conversion Using XSLT - for eBay or other web services

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  • Alan Lewis
    I just uploaded my XSLT 1.0 stylesheet that converts any XML data to JSON. Check out the XML 2 JSON project homepage
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2006
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      I just uploaded my XSLT 1.0 stylesheet that converts any XML data to
      JSON. Check out the XML 2 JSON project homepage
      <https://json-xslt.codebase.ebay.com/> on the eBay Codebase (there is
      a download link to the most recent version on that page). This is open
      sourced under the CDDL, and is based off of some code that was written
      by Holten Norris and placed under the CDDL at the Ajaxian conference a
      few months back.

      Why is this important? I have one goal -- make it easy to use eBay Web
      Services directly on the client, through Javascript. As you probably
      know, you can use JSON-formatted data, wrapped in a callback, to get
      around the same-domain restriction that keeps you from calling
      third-party web services from Javascript. Yahoo provides JSON as an
      output option for their web services, and this gives you the same thing
      for eBay's REST-enabled web services (or for any others out there they
      may have an XSLT server option -- you know who you are, Jeff)

      I presented this back at the eBay Developers Conference a few weeks
      back, which, amazingly, appears to be the same day that this other XML
      to JSON conversion project <http://www.bramstein.nl/xsltjson/>
      launched. The code is totally different -- I didn't know about it until
      about an hour ago when I was reading the newsgroup messages. Bram's code
      uses XSLT 2.0, whereas mine uses XSLT 1.0. I'm not surprised that I
      wasn't the only one working on this, because it opens up lots of
      interesting possibilities for client-side code that uses third-party web

      Jason asked in this post
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/json/message/427?l=1> how this is
      different from other approaches? Bram's and mine are the first XSLT
      solutions I'm aware of that will convert any XML data into JSON,
      regardless of schema. Other solutions I've seen, including one from
      PostApp <http://www.postapp.com/ebay/> that inspired me to do this,
      code their XSLT to a specific schema, requiring XSLT changes to support
      additional calls. With this XSLT, when eBay brings out additional
      REST-enabled calls (such as the GetContextualKeywords call that powers
      the AdContext project -- sign up for the beta
      <http://affiliates.ebay.com/ads/adcontext/> today!) there will be no
      additional work needed (cross your fingers) to support those calls. This
      means that it should work with other types of web services too. The only
      dependency on eBay that I know about is the xsl:stylesheet line that
      strips out the eBay namespace from the XML.

      The format of the data returned mimics that returned by Yahoo's JSON
      output for their web services. Elements with attributes and textual data
      are converted to objects, with the attributes becoming child nodes, and
      the text content going in a child node named content. When there are
      multiple child elements with the same name, all the child elements are
      wrapped in an array.

      The code is not 100% baked, but it works on most eBay REST API searches.
      The one issue I know about is that quotes in text content are not
      converted properly. There may be other text that I need to escape, and
      I'll be updating it soon with that support.

      If you want to contribute to the project, please sign up as a "project
      observer" on the Codebase <https://json-xslt.codebase.ebay.com/> .
      You'll need to be an eBay Developers Program member first, but signing
      up <http://developer.ebay.com/join> for that is free. Once you sign up
      for the project I'll reach out to you over email. I'm open to merging
      this with Bram's project, and I'll be reaching out to him soon. I've
      also started writing an article that will explain in painstaking detail
      how to use this XSLT with eBay's web services.

      Alan Lewis
      <http://alanlewis.typepad.com/> Technical Evangelist
      eBay Developers Program <http://developer.ebay.com/>

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