Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira…

October 1, 2008

I’ve finally got a plan for automagically generating reports from my database that can be posted here with a minimum of manual cut ‘n’ pasting. The WordPress editor accepts a subset of HTML tags and also inserts its own tag-like entities for the links to the charts. My plan is to generate the complete page – text, tables and chart links – offline, then cut ‘n’ paste the whole thing in one operation. As long at the chart links are valid (i.e. charts with the correct names exist in the image gallery associated with the blog) the “auto-generated” page should render as soon as it is saved.

Each report should just require two manual operations: upload the chart jpegs then paste the generated “HTML” into the page.

  • query
  • upload
  • ???
  • profit!

So it looks like it’s back to the XSLT editor for me. XSLT is the right tool for this job because the hand-written stylesheets can limit the HTML tags to the subset allowed by WordPress and mix in the WordPress-specific tags too. The reporting toolchain is most likely going to end up looking like this (sigh… yes I’m in Billg-land… apologies to Tux-lovers…):

  • Excel to query the database and do whatever data-massaging might be needed
  • Excel to create the charts and generate the jpegs
  • Write the tables as XML and run a stylesheet over them to generate the HTML and the WordPress-specific chart links.

The whole thing can be glued together in Excel VBA. Not my favourite programming tool but it’ll get the job done.


2 Responses to “Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira…”

  1. justin Says:


    just wondering if you could point me in the right direction to get started with data mining wow’s armory. i’d like to do my own reports eventually, my expertise is mostly on the SQL/system’s side and not really data mining (specifically armory).

  2. zardoz Says:

    I’ll be posting more details about the methods I’m using as we go along. Otherwise a Google search should turn up the source code for a couple of sample armoury crawlers. ‘Google Code’ has one, from memory, and there are others. Have a look at them and that should get you going.

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