Well, with all this coming down from the customer, I was feeling a fair amount of stress over the weekend , thinking that I needed to build this capability pretty soon, but knowing that I cant give the customer a good estimate of how hard it is. So I started doing some research. Heres what happened .
If the world really loved me, there would be a Microsoft Internet Explorer pane already built into .NETs toolbox. I looked and looked , and its just not there. I searched the Microsoft Visual Studio help and found nothing of use. I searched MSDN and found some articles on how to use the Microsoft Web Browser COM object in a Windows Form, but not for .NET. I searched microsoft.public.whatever and found that a lot of people had asked the question, and the answers all came back sounding like they were using the COM object. If you know about COM, that might not hold you back, but Im the new kid on the block and it sounded daunting to me.
I posted a description of my problem to the group , hoping that someone would come up with something easier, and in so doing, I came to realize that there might be an even easier way to do this: I could use a freestanding browser.
We could run the XSLT transformation inside the XML Notepad, producing the HTML, and then launch a copy of Internet Explorer to view the page. After that, the user could refresh the browser whenever he wants to see how things look.
This idea is far from perfect, but its close to what the user is doing now, and if it would execute in less than the 30 seconds it takes now, we might be able to get the user to do this and use our program. I can estimate this one as probably taking a day or less, depending on whether I have to refresh the browser automatically, and so on. But I dont really know how to do it.