This book is designed for just about anyone that wants to learn XSLT and how its used today in the real world. The only assumption that I make is that you have some knowledge of how to create documents using both XML and HTML. The companion volume to this book is New Riders Inside XML , and I encourage you to pick up that book if you need to come up to speed on XML (and because I wrote it). You dont have to be any great expert, but knowledge of these topics will be helpful. Thats really all the preparation you need.
If you want to follow along with the examples in this book using the XSLT processors you can download for free online, you should also have Java installed on your system (its free), and Ill discuss this fully in Chapter 1.