A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL), a family of transformation languages, allows one to describe how to format or transform files encoded in the XML standard. The language assumes the processing of an input XML file to produce a text-based output document, generally HTML, XML, plain-text, or PDF.



All Tools Suck

On top of the usual frustrations with poor, incomplete, and incorrect implementation of standards and typically buggy and poorly-supported programs, add my frustration with trying to integrate these tools with other similarly joyful tools and you can see that my job is a recipe for bitterness and pain.

Kimber, Eliot. Dr. Macro's XML Rants (2006). Articles>Software>Standards>XSL


Applying XSLT to XML Using ASP.NET

This article explains the basics of XSL to transform XML documents using simple examples. We will gradually focus on using ASP.NET to implement XSLT for any XML document and even to database queries. It introduces different ways of implementing XSL from browser's perspective and server's perspective. We will also discuss some tips to generate automated XML from database queries and then transform them to HTML using XSL transformations.

Chaterjee, Jagadish. ASP Free (2004). Articles>Information Design>XSL>ASP


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


Building an XPath-Powered Framework for XML Data Processing

As XML formatted content and data becomes pervasive on intranets and the Internet the requirement to minimize individual process times becomes great. XPath has been evolving into a rich expression language to query and extract data in a precise way. While it has been designed to be used by a host language such as XSLT and XQuery, an XPath processor can be used quite usefully standalone or as part of an application framework.

Scardina, Mark and Jinyu Wang. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Building New Documents with XSLT   (PDF)

This chapter will take you a few steps further by showing you how to add text and markup to your result tree with XSLT templates. First, you'll addliteral text to your output. Then you'll work with literal result elements, that is, elements that are represented literally in templates. You'll also learn how to add content with the text, element, attribute, attribute-set, comment, and processing-instruction elements. In addition, you'll get your first encounter with attribute value templates, which provide a way to define templates inside attribute values.

Fitzgerald, Michael. O'Reilly and Associates (2003). Design>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


Database-Driven Tree Structures with XML and XSLT

This article deals with the display of tree-structures that are driven by a database. There are actually a few approaches to transform a 2-dimensional structure into a tree, and it seems odd that most are unknown to many developers.

Opitz, Pascal. Content with Style (2005). Design>Web Design>XML>XSL


DocBook XSL Repository

These are XSL stylesheets for the DocBook DTD and its derivatives (Simplified DocBook, etc.) to generate PDF/print documents or Web/HTML content.

SourceForge (2005). Resources>Documentation>XSL>DocBook


DocBook XSL: The Complete Guide

DocBook is a collection of standards and tools for technical publishing. DocBook was originally created by a consortium of software companies as a standard for computer documentation. But the basic 'book' features of DocBook can be used for other kinds of content, so it has been adapted to many purposes.

Stayton, Bob. Sagehill (2005). Books>Documentation>XSL>DocBook


Dynamic Tables With XSLT

How to use the powerful dynamic features of XSLT for sorting and displaying table-data.

Opitz, Pascal. Content with Style (2005). Design>Web Design>DHTML>XSL


Extending XQuery for Grouping, Duplicate Elimination, and Outer Joins  (link broken)

XQuery is the W3C’s emerging language standard for querying and transforming XML. XQuery is a powerful, flexible language designed to query the many kinds of structured and unstructured data that XML can represent. Despite its power, certain familiar SQL query operations, such as grouping, duplicate elimination, and outer-joins, are either difficult or impossible to express “reasonably” in XQuery. These primitives are important for data-oriented applications of XML, particularly applications that have a need for reporting (e.g., for OLAP and statistical querying). This paper presents a small set of XQuery extensions to enable grouping, duplicate elimination, and outer-join queries all to be expressed neatly within the XQuery language. The proposal does minimal “damage” to the XQuery standard; it generalizes the current FLWOR expression syntax of XQuery and requires no changes to the underlying XQuery data model. The extensions are slated to appear in the next major revision of the BEA XQuery engine and its encompassing products.

Borkar, Vinayak and Michael Carey. IDEAlliance (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Extensible Schema Documentation with XSLT 2.0   (PDF)

XML Schema documents are defined using an XML syntax, which means that the idea of generating schema documentation through standard XML technologies is intriguing. We present X2Doc, a framework for generating schema-documentation solely through XSLT. The framework uses SCX, an XML syntax for XML Schema components, as intermediate format and produces XML-based output formats. Using a modular set of XSLT stylesheets, X2Doc is highly configurable and carefully crafted towards extensibility. This proves especially useful for composite schemas, where additional schema information like Schematron rules are embedded into XML Schemas.

Michel, Felix and Erik Wilde. WWW 2007 (2007). Articles>Documentation>XML>XSL


Find Your Node: Advanced XPATH Commands

All that XSLT does is applying code-templates on XML-nodes. In order to do this you need to find the right node. XPATH offers you an advanced toolkit to do that within an XSL-file.

Opitz, Pascal. Content with Style (2005). Design>Web Design>Style Sheets>XSL


Get Started with XPath 2.0

XPath 2.0 is the foundation of two essential recommendations currently in the final stages of development at W3C: XSLT 2.0 and XQuery. It is a major rewrite designed to significantly increase the power and efficiency of the language. In this article, Benoît Marchal shows how the new data model enables you to easily write more sophisticated requests.

Marchal, Benoit. IBM (2006). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Review: Getting to Know the XSL Family of Standards: A Review of The XSL Companion

If you need to learn XSL, or think it might be a career-enhancing move, there are currently very few books that describe XSL. In fact, some of these books can be overwhelming in size and in programming detail. The XSL Companion is different, and, I feel, aptly named a 'companion'.

Boeri, Bob. Boston Broadside (2001). Articles>Reviews>XSL


Improving an XML Feed Display Through CSS and XSLT

XML feeds, though useful, are boring to look at in a browser because they are simple XML files. It's possible though to make them easier on the eye, and in this article we'll look at two ways of doing that. First, we'll use simple CSS properties to format each XML node, and then we'll use a little more complex but much more powerful XSL transformation.

xefteri.com (2005). Articles>Web Design>XML>XSL


Internationalize Your Apps with XSLT

To meet the needs of users worldwide, today's Web applications often require internationalization. In this article, you'll see an approach for client-side internationalization based on XSLT. This solution only requires that both the data to be internationalized and the server stores are in XML.

Gianfagna, Leonida, Stefano Borghetti and Antonio Perrone. IBM (2008). Articles>Web Design>Localization>XSL


An Introduction to Extensible Stylesheet Language   (PDF)

Introduces the three technologies that comprise the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) family of specifications as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Hodge, Drew W. Intercom (2004). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Introduction to XML for Web Developers

Using simple, well-explained examples this tutorial walks you through XML and the sister XSL style sheet language.

Sol, Selena. WDVL (1999). Design>Web Design>XML>XSL


Introduction to XPath

XPath is a language for addressing parts of an XML document, designed to be used by both XSLT and XPointer. In this article we will learn about XPath, XPath expressions and how to use XPath in .NET and Java.

Zaman, Mamun. Dev Articles (2007). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


Locate Specific Sections of Your XML Documents with XPath, Part 1

XML is a data format concerned primarily with compatibility and flexibility. But as useful as XML is, it's limited without the abilities to find specific portions of a document quickly and to filter and selectively locate data within a document. XPath provides the ability to easily reference specific text, elements, and attributes within a document—and with a fairly low learning curve. Additionally, XPath is key to many other XML vocabularies and technologies, such as XSL and XQuery. This tutorial will teach you the fundamentals of XPath, including all of its various selectors and semantics, in an example-driven and hands-on manner.

McLaughlin, Brett D. IBM (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>XSL


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



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