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XSLT and XPATH : A Guide to XML Transformations

XSLT and XPATH : A Guide to XML Transformations

by John Robert Gardner, Charles F. Goldfarb

Gain total control over your information with XSLT and XPath!

  • Master XSLT and XPath—the "keys to the XML kingdom"
  • Build custom XML output solutions that won't become obsolete
  • Learn everything from basic XML-to-HTML conversions to leading edge techniques
  • CD-ROM includes all examples from the book


Gain total control over your information with XSLT and XPath!

  • Master XSLT and XPath—the "keys to the XML kingdom"
  • Build custom XML output solutions that won't become obsolete
  • Learn everything from basic XML-to-HTML conversions to leading edge techniques
  • CD-ROM includes all examples from the book

Mastering XSLT and XPath gives you unprecedented control over your information—and helps you leverage virtually every new XML technology, from XLink to schemas. Discover XSLT's powerful vocabulary of easy, programming-like features, and learn how to build custom solutions that resist obsolescence. By the end of the first chapter, you'll be performing XML-to-HTML conversions for display in any Web browser. Then build on your knowledge through a series of hands-on examples that transform you into an XSLT/XPath expert!

  • XSLT as an XML document instance: leveraging your existing XML skills
  • XSLT stylesheet concepts and constructs: fundamental through advanced level
  • XPath patterns and functions
  • XSLT subroutine functions and variables
  • XSLT processing of multiple nodes: iterative and conditional XSLT elements
  • Controlling output options
  • XSLT extensions, and more

Whether you're an experienced programmer or a novice markup specialist, here's your chance to master XML's most potent tools for organizing, updating, and delivering digital information—any data, anywhere, any time!

Product Details

Prentice Hall
Publication date:
Definitive Xml Series from Charles F. Go
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

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.

Meet the Author

JOHN ROBERT GARDNER, Ph.D., is an Architect with Sun Microsystems, Inc., a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software, and services that power the Internet and B2B.

ZARELLA L. RENDON is Senior Applications Engineer and co-founder of ISOGEN International, a leading provider of XML and SGML solutions. She is a member of the W3C XSL Working Group.

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