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XML is an elegant and straightforward way to define data-centric documents to feed almost any kind of data processing or rendering system. The linchpin of many XML solutions, however, is XSLT. This standard provides a way to transform your XML documents into other XML formats, HTML, and almost any other format you wish. XSLT is an excellent tutorial on this critical technology, a must-have text for developers getting serious with XML.
This book is targeted at busy developers who want to learn standards-compliant skills with XSLT and learn them fast. The author uses the Apache Xalan XSLT engine for demonstration, but the material in the book is equally applicable to the XSLT engine in Microsoft's MSMXL parser, Saxon, and many other equivalent XSLT processors.
The material is presented logically from the transformation of a simple "Hello World!" XML file to an HTML document onto XPath locations, branching, linking, combining XML documents, and extension functions. After laying the groundwork for what XSLT can do, the author presents a fairly sophisticated case study--an online tutorial generator that generates HTML files, PDF files, and Zip files.
Aside from being a subject tutorial, XSLT is also an excellent reference that comes in handy for daily coding. The appendices cover XSLT, XPath, a function reference, and a frequently asked questions section. These reference sections include complete examples that make each concept quite clear. XSLT provides the horsepower behind XML, and this book provides the perfect vehicle to master transformation techniques. --Stephen W. Plain
Topics covered: Basic style sheet structure, XPath data model, branching and control elements, links and cross-references, sorting and grouping, combining XML documents, XSLT extension functions, case study, XSLT reference, XPath reference, function reference, XSLT guide (FAQ).
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