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Java and XSLT (O'Reilly Java)
by Eric M. Burke

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Editorial Reviews
Aimed at the Java developer who wants to learn XSLT quickly, Java and XSLT provides an in-depth guide to using XML to transform data in a variety of Web applications. With a no-nonsense presentation style and plenty of expert tips, this tutorial will let experienced developers master XSLT (and related standards) to create more flexible Web applications.

This text distinguishes itself with a fast-moving tutorial that covers XSLT from the ground up without getting bogged down in fast-changing XML standards, as is the case sometimes with other similar books. Combined with XML parsers (available in Sun's JAXP 1.1 APIs), Java is ready to go to solve real-world problems with XSLT. The author shows you how to apply XSLT to real problems, as well as integrating XSLT into your Web architecture. Early sections of the book show how XSLT can be used to separate presentation logic from business logic.

The first sections provide the basics of XSLT syntax, then the book moves on to more advanced searching and looping techniques. (Without traditional "state" or variables, XSLT requires a different way of thinking. This book does a good job of showing what's different in XSLT and techniques that can do more within real applications.)

This text's developer focus shows up early on, with a sample of XSLT used with Apache's Ant build utility. Later samples are more applicable to general Web development. A sample online discussion board built with servlets and XSLT style sheets shows off the fundamentals at work. With good coverage of Sun's JAXP 1.1 APIs for working with XML in Java, this book anchors its samples in real Java tools. A final section on wireless interfaces introduces the advantages of XSLT for transforming online content into WML for mobile devices.

Now that XSLT is a mainstream technology, more and more Java programmers will want to use it in real projects. Beyond syntax, this title shows you how to use XSLT to transform server-side data into client-side interfaces more flexibly. The practical focus of Java and XSLT is all you need to combine these two powerful technologies to create more maintainable Web applications that can reach both desktop and mobile browsers. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Introduction to XSLT; XML review; transforming data with XSLT; XPath; looping and sorting; conditional processing; formatting text and numbers; an XSLT example with the Ant build utility; review of Web architectures (including XSLT used with EJBs); compiling style sheets with JAXP 1.1; basic servlet tutorial (servlets used with XSLT); sample online discussion forum (with XSLT); advanced XSLT techniques (including session tracking without cookies, servlet filters, internationalization); tips for XSLT developers (developing, testing and debugging, performance tips); building wireless Web applications with WML and XSLT; JAXP 1.1 API reference; and XSLT quick reference.

Book Description
The power of XSLT is its ability to change the structure or format of any content that can be converted to XML. Java and XSLT shows you how to use XSL transformations in Java programs ranging from stand-alone applications to servlets. After an introduction to XSLT, the book focuses on applying transformations in some real-world scenarios, such as developing a discussion forum, transforming documents from one form to another, and generating content for wireless devices.

Java and XSLT discusses several common XSLT processors and the TRAX API, paying special attention to performance issues. Although there's a brief tutorial introduction to the XSLT language, the primary focus of the book isn't on learning XSLT or developing stylesheets; it's on making practical use of transformations in Java code.

The book covers:

  • Introduction and Technology Review
  • XSLT--The Basics
  • XSLT--Beyond The Basics
  • Java Web Architecture
  • Programmatic Interfaces to XSLT Processors
  • Using XSLT with Servlets
  • Discussion Forum Implementation
  • Advanced XSLT Web Techniques
  • Testing, Tuning and Development Environments
  • WAP and WML
  • XSLT and Wireless Examples

Product Details
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly; 1 edition (September, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0596001436
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds. (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: based on 10 reviews.
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #171,104 in Books
  • (Publishers and authors: improve your sales)

Look Inside This Book
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover

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Spotlight Reviews
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful:

Excellent view of an alternative enterprise architecture, December 5, 2001
Reviewer:Thomas Paul (Plainview, NY USA) - See all my reviews
The combination of Servlets and XSLT is a natural fit and a possible alternative to Servlets and JSP.

This book gives excellent coverage to using XSLT to generate dynamic web pages. The first part of the book is an introduction to XSLT. For those unfamiliar with XSLT, this part of the book will be an excellent introduction. For those using XSLT, an additional tutorial or reference will be required. The next part of the book covers how to use a Java program to transform an XML document into HTML. SAX, DOM, JDOM, and JAXP are all covered. This section includes information on how to configure your environment to correctly process XML documents. Anyone who has run into the mysterious "sealing violation" will appreciate this help. The next part of the book is a series of case studies starting with a discussion forum. The case studies demonstrate solutions to real world programming issues and help to uncover some of the issues that programmers will face if they choose to use these technologies. Performance issues are discussed with each solution.

My one complaint with this book is that the author tends to overstate the advantages of XSLT while understating the advantages of JSP. Overall, the author has done an outstanding job of putting the two technologies (Java and XSLT) together in a way that is easy to understand.

Anyone interested in using XSLT in their Java development efforts should start with this book.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Showing it's age, March 7, 2004
Reviewer:Jack D. Herrington "engineer and author" (Silicon Valley, CA) - See all my reviews
This book is definitely showing it's age. It covers XSLT as it was in 2001. It's all about having a flexible front-end and serving XML out as HTML and WML, or using it for internationalization. It's coverage of code generation is very, very minimal. There is also very little in the way of advice about increasing processing efficiency. There are also small mistakes; for example the misstatements about CGI and Servlets, which is a common error in Java articles and books.

That being said, the examples are well annotated and the XML is highlighted for readability. The code is loosely annotated, which is the O'Reilly style, but it still makes some of the larger code fragments had to follow.

As long as you know that this book is a little dated you will find reasonable material in here about XML, XSLT and how to get it into Java. It could use a second edition with more topical material.

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Customer Reviews
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Very cool book that dvelves deep into using XSLT with Java, October 18, 2004
Reviewer:Seshadri Rangaswami "vit0" (New Brunskwick, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
I am very much impressed with the content of the book and the examples in particular. The book covers the breadth of using java and XSLT and also gives a nice case study using MVC architecture.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Not The Best Choice, February 2, 2004
Reviewer:Matthew J. Weaver "ezweave" (Colorado) - See all my reviews
This book chooses to forgoe some of the more standard tools for XSL translation that are on the market. The author instead uses alternate opensourced implementations (JDOM vs DOM). The problem with this is that in the real world, constraints often exist on your project such that you cannot use alternatives (oh no!). So instead of getting a robust book that explains how to implement DOM and translate, you get a book that wallows in the use of alternate methods and focuses on one thing: creating dynamic HTML. Honestly, this is a rahter tired subject in the XML world. I am more interested in how to translate XML to PDF or RTF or XL. I am not asking for a plain answer, but I was at least hoping for a very beginner approach.

I have spent a week trying to get an implementation going and there is so much that I do not understand. I was hoping that this book would remedy that. It, sadly, does not. The example code is too specific to really help with a real world (constrained) application (I am developing for Oracle systems and they include the standard parsers from org.wc3.dom and org.xml.sax, using others requires server updates that are not recommended). I cannot recommend other titles as I have not read many others and the ones I have read are not too helpful.

Good luck, but steer clear of this one, unless you don't mind losing fifteen dollars.

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Nice intro to XPATH, May 16, 2003
Reviewer:F. Pizzi (Yucaipa, ca United States) - See all my reviews
Author does a nice job introducing XSLT and XPATH.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Incomplete and poor reference, February 18, 2003
Reviewer:Carl "Carl" (Sausalito, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This book is not what I hope for. Although it has been out for a couple of years the author has not even aknowledged some of the major typos in the book (see O'Reilly web site).

Although nicely written in a style that can be fairly easily followed, it is missing a substantial amount of needed reference material. For example in the section on conditional statements it refers to boolean expressions. Nowhere does he provide a list of operators or build-in functions available. You either have to build your own incomplete list gleaned from his examples or go find a good reference book.

O'Reilly authors generally do a better job.

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