XSLT Tutorial

XSL Transformation

Introduction

There are a lot of XSL tutorials on the Internet (see e.g. the references below). The problem is that a pure theoretical study is not efficient. Therefore I made a program that transforms XML to HTML using XSL. It can be freely downloaded and used along with some good tutorial or book.

Definitions

XSL stands for EXtensible Stylesheet Language. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) started to develop XSL because there was a need for an XML-based style sheet language.

XSLT stands for XSL Transformations. In this tutorial you will learn how to use XSLT to transform XML documents into other formats, like XHTML.

CSS = HTML Style Sheets. HTML uses predefined tags and the meaning of the tags are well understood. The <table> element in HTML defines a table - and a browser knows how to display it. Adding styles to HTML elements is simple. Telling a browser to display an element in a special font or color, is easy with CSS. 

XSL = XML Style Sheets. XML does not use predefined tags (we can use any tag-names we like), and the meaning of these tags are not well understood. A <table> element could mean an HTML table, a piece of furniture, or something else - and a browser does not know how to display it. XSL describes how the XML document should be displayed!

XSL consists of three parts:

  1.  XSLT - a language for transforming XML documents
  2.  XPath - a language for navigating in XML documents
  3.  XSL-FO - a language for formatting XML documents


Steps

 Step 1. Download my program XSLtransformer: (zipped directory) or (installer). Alternatively you can download a source code (Delphi 6 project).

Below is a screenshot:

A short manual is here. The manual is also included in downloads.

Step 2. Follow some good XSL tutorial and use XSLtransformer for doing exercises. 

Happy XSL-transforming!

 

References

  1. W3 Schools - XSL Languages, http://www.w3schools.com/xsl/xsl_languages.asp 
  2. What is XSLT? http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2000/08/holman/ 
  3. XSLT Tutorial, http://www.zvon.org/xxl/XSLTutorial/Books/Book1/ 

 


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