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Site Technology

This is a very small site, but already complex enough to be simpler to manage with the help of a little software. The output is XHTML, so it seemed sensible to use XSLT to generate it: that way, the output is guaranteed to be well-formed. Not only that, but the main XSLT templates can include menus and headers for all the pages, saving a lot of repetition. Since we're running Apache, all that could have been achieved using just mod_xslt. But there are a few extra tricks that are needed: firstly, Explorer 6 still doesn't work correctly if it thinks a page is XHTML - it needs to be told it's plain old HTML - and the menu needs parameters to know which options to display. mod_perl solves both those problems.

The final system: a site based on small xml files which contain just the text for each page, plus the contents for the meta tags. When a browser requests a page, Apache calls mod_perl which uses LibXSLT (a free XSLT processor) to convert the xml file to XHTML, add in the menus, and insert the metatag data. You can even see the source xml files if you want (though it would be easy to close off access to those).

And the end result: a page which is fully standards compliant, including valid xhtml and valid style files, conforms with the W3C accessibility recommendations , and which meets government eGMS standards for metadata.