|XSLT For Dummies|
|by Richard Wagner|
|Hungry Minds 2002|
My aim is to help you find out how to become productive with XSLT quickly so that you can transform XML documents into virtually any kind of output imaginable. With that goal in mind, XSLT For Dummies is divided into five parts , each of which builds upon the previous ones.
Part I: Getting Started with XSLT
Part I kicks off your journey. You start by finding out about the core concepts of XSLT and how it fits in with HTML and all the other X technologies out there, such as XML, XSL, and XPath. You get your feet wet by writing your first XSLT stylesheet and transforming an XML document.
After you finish that, you can say XSLT to your buddies at work and actually have a grasp of what youre talking about when you throw around those X terms.
Part II: Becoming an XSLT Transformer
This part takes you into the belly of the beast : stylesheets, template rules, and XPath expressions. But dont worryyou wont lose your appetite. You begin by looking at stylesheets and find out, in everyday terms, the often-confusing subject of document trees and recursion. From there, you start pulling information out of XML documents and outputting it into various forms.
By the time youre done with this part, youll be able to say, Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations, without stumbling over any of the twelve syllables.
Part III: Prime Time XSLT
In this part, you dive deeper into the thick of things. You find out how XSLT handles programming concepts such as if/then statements, loops , and variables , and how to include them in stylesheets. Dont worry if youve never programmed before; these concepts become clear as you read through the chapters. You also find out about how to take advantage of the more advanced capabilities of XSLT and XPath to create more powerful transformations.
I predict that after you finish this part, at least once youll have unintentionally ordered an XSLT sandwich on rye at your local deli.
Part IV: eXtreme XSLT
As you read through Part IV, you can begin to call yourself a bona fide XSLT Transformer. You find out how to create effective XSLT stylesheets and apply them under various conditions. You find out about how to combine stylesheets and even add your own extensions. You also get the inside scoop on debugging transformations.
A word of warning: By now, all this XSLT will be swimming around in your head. You may find yourself mingling at a social event and leading with the line: Apply any good templates lately?
Part V: The Part Of Tens
In this part, I guide you through some practical tips and information that can make your life easier when you work with XSLT. I start out by demystifying the ten most confusing things about XSLT. Then I detail what I consider to be the ten best XSLT resources on the Web. I conclude by giving you the details on ten XSLT processors that you can download online.