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DuCharme, Bob

12 found.

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Appreciating Libxslt

The two most well-known XSLT processors are probably the Apache project's Xalan (available in both a Java and C++ version) and the Java-based Saxon, which was written by XSLT 2.0 specification editor Michael Kay. If those are the only two XSLT processors you currently use, it's worth checking out Daniel Veillard's libxslt.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2005). Articles>Information Design>Software>XSL


Automated Mass Production of XSLT Stylesheets

Many have wished for a tool that would automate the creation of XSLT stylesheets. Building the interface alone to such a tool sounds like a tough job, and getting it to output working XSLT stylesheets that accomplish non-trivial tasks also sounds challenging. However, the comfort level of nearly all computer users with basic spreadsheet software actually makes the first task simpler than it once appeared to be, and the ease with which popular spreadsheet programs now save their contents in XML means that when you start with the right spreadsheet template, an XSLT stylesheet is not difficult to create from the XML version of a spreadsheet that uses that template.

DuCharme, Bob. IDEAlliance (2005). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>XSL


Automating Stylesheet Creation

Since the early days of XSLT, many have asked whether it was possible to automate the creation of XSLT stylesheets. The general idea of filling out a form or dragging some icons around, then clicking a button and seeing a productive stylesheet generated from your input has always appealed to people. However, the problem of generating working XSLT syntax from the result of someone clicking on pull-down menus and radio buttons has not attracted many takers.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Controlling Whitespace, Part 1

XML considers four characters to be whitespace: the carriage return, the linefeed, the tab, and the spacebar space. Microsoft operating systems put both a carriage return and a linefeed at the end of each line of a text file, and people usually refer to the combination as the "carriage return". XSLT stylesheet developers often get frustrated over the whitespace that shows up in their result documents -- sometimes there's more than they wanted, sometimes there's less, and sometimes it's in the wrong place. Over the next few columns, we'll discuss how XML and XSLT treat whitespace to gain a better understanding of what can happen, and we'll look at some techniques for controlling how an XSLT processor adds whitespace to the result document.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2001). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Easy Command Line Processing with the DITA Open Toolkit

The DITA Open Toolkit can transform your DITA files into a wide variety of output types. When you first install it, it's easy to get the impression that you need to know Ant well to use it, but you can pack most of its available options into a single Java™ command line.

DuCharme, Bob. IBM (2008). Articles>Content Management>XML>DITA


Moving to OpenOffice: Batch Converting Legacy Documents

What if you want to load XML versions of a large collection of Word files, Excel spreadsheets, or PowerPoint files into an XML-aware database where you can query the collection?

DuCharme, Bob. OpenOffice.org (2006). Articles>Software>Word Processing>OpenOffice


Opening Open Formats with XSLT

This month I'm taking a break from covering XSLT 2.0 to describe how the combination of XSLT 1.0 and an application with an open XML format solved a problem for me. I solved this problem so quickly and easily that it got me thinking about how the combination of XSLT 1.0 and the increasing amount of open XML formats are opening up a world of simple, valuable new applications and utilities for us to write.

DuCharme, Bob. OpenOffice.org (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


The Path of Control

Covers XPath's new ability to do some things that every real programming language can do: conditional statements and iteration, or, as they're more colloquially known, "if" statements and "for" loops. We'll also look at a useful related technique for checking whether certain conditions do or don't exist in a set of nodes.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Push, Pull, Next!

In a recent weblog post, XML.com's "Python and XML" columnist Uche Ogbuji provided a nice collection of links to discussions about the push vs. pull styles of XSLT stylesheet development. What do we mean by "push" and "pull"? As a short example of each, let's look at two approaches to converting the following DocBook document to XHTML.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Scaling Up with XQuery, Part 1

The value of XQuery is not in its role as an alternative syntax to XSLT 2.0 for manipulating XML; it's in the implementations, which let you quickly retrieve, sort, and manipulate specific subsets of XML from collections that can measure in the terabytes. The ability to store large, indexed collections of data that don't fit neatly into normalized relational tables will create possibilities for all kinds of new applications, both inside and outside of the publishing world.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Scaling Up with XQuery, Part 2

Gets you to the point where you could start exploring those features with a reasonably large collection of your own data. Without spending any money, you can check them all out and discover the advantages to having large amounts of your XML stored in a database where you (or an application!) can use a W3C standard language to quickly retrieve what you want from that database.

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Seeking Equality

XPath 1.0 (and hence your XSLT style sheets) considers two elements to be equal if their string values are the same. The string value is essentially all of the PCDATA between the element's start and end tags, even if the element has descendant elements. For example, an XSLT processor considers the w and z elements in the following to be equal, because they both have a string value of "abcdefghi".

DuCharme, Bob. XML.com (2005). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL

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