Read an Excerpt
You've heard of
You've used HTML, and you know what a tag is; you know that it is somehow related to
There are many things you can use to process content once it is marked up using
XSLT is the power behind the throne of
XSLT is easy to use. In fact, XSLT itself is
XSLT attempts to be a bridge to nonprogrammers, bringing the easily understood syntax of
It is our belief-and our approach in writing this book-that both the experienced programmer and the newly trained markup technologist can become more comfortable with the potent set of tools for preserving, augmenting, updating, and delivering
If you are constantly wishing you had just a little more control over your information, this book will deliver that-and much more. In fact, by the end of the first chapter, you will be able to perform basic conversions from
When you read this book, have your computer handy. Take the time to load up one of the XSLT processors and work along as you read. Learning by doing is always best, especially with XSLT and XPath. Chapter 13 will show you how to install the software included on the CD. Each example in the book is found on the CD in the examples directory, organized by chapter.
XSLT is rewarding and creative to use. Be prepared to enjoy this learning experience. You will be surprised by how quickly productive use of this technology increases.
Why Should You Use XSLT?
Browsers display HTML, not general
XSLT lets you convert
XSLT provides quick, easy solutions to all
"This book, along with the proper tools, is what is required for
Sharon Adler, Co-Chair W3C XSL Working Group
The latest version of XSLT (for which this book is written) is 1.0. There are many additional features that are being considered by the W3C XSL committee, and version 2.0 promises to add some of these new features, as well as provide support for
Who Is This Book For?
This book is for anyone who works with electronic data and wants to enable
Some people may find XSLT difficult because it is not a procedural programming language. Most programming languages have a very structured, concise syntax. The syntax of XSLT is
Some people may find XSLT difficult to use because it does not provide solutions to every transformation situation. For example, you cannot use XSLT to convert text to
The book is organized to build a base of knowledge that will be added to chapter by chapter. Basic XSLT concepts and a brief overview of
Chapter 1 provides everything you need to know about
Chapter 2 covers stylesheet concepts that are crucial to understanding XSLT, as well as general stylesheet terminology.
Chapter 3 adds more concepts, a little more explanation and usage, and an in-depth study of templates to the basics covered in Chapters 1 and 2.
Chapter 4 defines and explains XPath expressions and patterns.
Chapter 5 covers XPath functions, which are crucial to using most of the elements in XSLT.
Chapter 6 walks through the creation of new
Chapter 7 discusses the use of multiple stylesheets by including and importing them, as well as a discussion on template priority.
Chapter 8 shows how to work with variables and parameters.
Chapter 9 covers anything that is in some way iterative or conditional, as well as the utilities required to copy
Chapter 10 details the options for controlling output types, as well as stripping and preserving whitespace, and generating error messages.
Chapter 11 covers XSLT functions and their related elements, including importing external
Chapter 12 discusses extensions, processors, and Java, as well as three "commercial" XSLT processors.
Chapter 13 describes three "freeware" processors: Xalan, Saxon, and XT, along with installation instructions and extension implementations.
There are three appendices that cover a variety of topics and case studies, as well as contributed material.
This book is written according to XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 1.0,
The version of James Clarks' XT used for the tests in this book is 19991105. The version of Michael Kay's Saxon used is 6.2.2.