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AxKit combines the power of Perl’s rich and varied XML processing facilities with the flexibility of the Apache web server. But instead of using a monolithic package, it takes a more modular approach. This allows developers great flexibility in choosing what lower-level packages they want, but it can mean a more lengthy and complicated installation process. This article comes from chapter two of the book XML Publishing with AxKit by Kip Hampton (O'Reilly, 2004; ISBN: 0596002165).

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Installing Axkit
  2. Installing the AxKit Core
  3. Installing AxKit on Win 32 Systems
  4. Basic Server Configuration
  5. Testing the Installation
  6. Installation Troubleshooting
  7. Where to Go for Help
By: O'Reilly Media
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 6
June 09, 2005

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If you get stuck at any point during the installation process, do not despair. There are still other resources available to help you get up and running. In addition to this book, there are other sources of AxKit documentation, as well as a strong AxKit user community that is willing and able to help.

Installed AxKit documentation

Most Perl modules that comprise the AxKit distribution include a level of documentation. In many cases, these documents are quite detailed. You can access this information using the standard perldoc utility typically installed with Perl itself. Just type perldoc <modulename>, in which <modulename> is the package name of the module that you want to read the docs from. The following list provides a general overview of the information you can find in the various modules.

AxKit

The documentation in AxKit.pm provides a brief overview of each AxKit configuration directive, including simple examples.

Example: perldoc AxKit

Apache::AxKit::Language::*

The modules in this package namespace provide support for the various XML processing and transformation languages such as XSLT, XSP, and XPathScript.

Example: perldoc Apache::AxKit::Language::XSP provides an XSP language reference.

Apache::AxKit::Provider::*

The modules in this namespace provide AxKit with the ability to fetch and read the sources for the XML content and stylesheets that it will use when serving the current request.

Example: perldoc Apache::AxKit::Provider::Filter shows the documentation for a module that allows an upstream PerlHandler (such as Apache::ASP or Mason) to generate content.

Apache::AxKit::Plugin::*

Modules in this namespace provide extensions to the basic AxKit functionality.

Example: perldoc Apache::AxKit::Plugin::Passthru offers documentation for the Passthru plug-in, which allows a “source view” of the XML document being processed based on the presence or absence of a specific query string parameter.

Apache::AxKit::StyleChooser::*

The modules in this namespace offer the ability to set the name of a preferred transformation style in environments that provide more than one way to transform documents for a given media type.

Example: perldoc Apache::AxKit::StyleChooser::Cookie shows the documentation for a module that allows stylesheet transformation chains to be selected based on the value of an HTTP cookie sent from the requesting client.

Additional user-contributed documentation is also available from the AxKit project’s web site at http://axkit.org/. Not only does the project site offer several useful tutorials, it also provides a user-editable Wiki that often contains the latest platform-specific installation instructions, as well as many other AxKit tips, tricks, and ideas.

Mailing lists

The AxKit project sports a lively and committed user base with lots of friendly folks who are willing to help. Even if you are not having trouble, I highly recommend joining the axkit-users mailing list. The amount of traffic is modest, the signal-to-noise ratio is high, and topics range from specific AxKit installation questions to general discussions of XML publishing best practices. You can subscribe online by visiting http://axkit.org/mailinglist.xml or by sending an empty email message to mailto:axkit-users-subscribe@axkit.org.

You can find browsable archives of axkit-users at:

  • http://axkit.org/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi/3

  • http://www.mail-archive.com/axkit-users@axkit.org/index.html

Topics relating specifically to AxKit development are discussed on the axkit-devel list. Generally, you should post most questions, bug reports, patches, etc., to axkitusers. If you want to contribute to the AxKit codebase, then axkit-devel is the place for you. You can subscribe to the development list by sending an empty message to mailto: axkit-dev-subscribe@xml.apache.org.

In addition to the mailing lists, the AxKit community also maintains an #axkit IRC channel for discussing general AxKit topics. The IRC server hosting the channel changes periodically, so check the AxKit web site for details.



 
 
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