Welcome to Inside XSLT , the book on Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations. This book is designed to be as comprehensiveand as accessibleas it is possible for a single book on XSLT to be. XSLT is all about transforming XML documents into other XML documents, or other kinds of documents entirely, and its become an extremely popular topic. Ive written this book to be the most complete one available on XSLT, and I believe it provides more coverage of XSLT than any other book you can buy. This is an exploding field, and a complex oneIve tried to put in the hard work so you wont have to.
Many XSLT books concentrate simply on XML-to-HTML transformations, but were going to go much farther than that. XML-to-XML transformations are becoming very important, and will soon be more important than XML-to-HTML transformations as different dialects of XML applications increase.
To cover XSLT completely, this book describes all the available XSLT elements, one by one, as well as all their attributes. It also covers every XSLT and XPath function that you can use in XSLT stylesheets.
And youre going to see hundreds of working examples. Thats the best way to see how XSLT workstheres no question. If I fail to explain something in the text, you can always look at the accompanying example, because theres a working, complete example for nearly every point in this book.
All these examples are there to run; I use the most popular XSLT processors available, all of which you can download for free from the Internet: Xalan, XT, Saxon, Oracles XSLT processor, even the one built into the Microsoft Internet Explorer. Ill cover where to get all this software on the Internet, and how to use it, throughout this book.
Like writing XML, XSLT is not some ordinary and monotonous task: It inspires artistry, devotion, passion, exaltation and eccentricitynot to mention exasperation and frustration. Ill try to be true to that spirit and capture as much of the excitement and power of XSLT in this book as I can.