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XSLT 1.0 Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) Paperback – August 19, 2005
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About the Author
Evan Lenz is an XML developer specializing in XSLT. He recently worked for Infopop Corporation as an interface engineer, and has served on the W3C XSL Working Group, spoken at various XML conferences, and co-authored O'Reilly's Office 2003 XML. Evan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College (IL), with majors in Piano Performance and Philosophy. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
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Contents: Data Model; The XPath Language; How XSLT Works; Elements; Functions; Extending XSLT; XPath 1.0 Grammar; XSLT Pattern Grammar; Index
Looking at the back cover, the impression is such that you could use this book to get "up to speed quickly" on XSLT. Perhaps you could, but if this was your first and only exposure to XSLT and it works out that way, you're a far better IT professional than I am. The information is concise and correct, to be sure. But it's not going to walk you through the subject in a tutorial fashion. Conversely, if you understand the basics and need a quick visual reference on how to use a feature, say like <xsl:sort>, this book shines. You don't have to wade through a dozen pages of conversation to find out the format and syntax. Two pages total in this book, and you have all the details. And that's what an O'Reilly's Pocket Reference title is for...
If you're working with XSLT already and need that "cheat sheet" material, I'd recommend this book. You'll get a lot of value from it. If you're looking to learn XSLT, you'll probably want to start with something more tutorial in nature first. Once you've got that down, head over here for ongoing reference...
to know about XSL into 170 pocket-sized pages. What's more amazing
is that an experienced developer with little prior XML/XSL experience
can actually learn enough from this little gem to write competent XSL.
A reference manual AND quality tutorial in 1/20th the space (and dead
trees) of most tech books these days. I've recommended this to several
of my colleagues who had to get up to speed on XSL for a new project,
and the reaction from them is the same as mine.... This was EXACTLY
what I needed.
By the time I started to read this little gem, I had already spent some time learning XSLT 1.0 and XPath and had started to implement some simple XML transformations. However, this book was amazingly useful in expanding my understanding of this occasionally challenging language. Using it as a reference book, I was soon able to implement some fairly sophisticated XML transformations.
Evan Lenz's XSLT 1.0 Pocket Reference is well-structured, first covering some basics on XPath, then some details on how XSLT transforms XML, followed by detailed explanations on the elements and functions that constitute XSLT 1.0 and finally, a section on XSLT Extensions, containing additional elements and functions specific to a range of both free and commercial XSLT processors.
The main strength of this book is in its clear and concise explanation of elements and functions. Where appropriate, useful snippets of example code are provided to assist the in explanation of specific concepts.
This book also contains useful tips with explanations on additional XSLT 2.0 elements and functions which, I presume, evolved from those in XSLT 1.0. Hence, this is also a useful book for those wishing to move from XSLT 1.0 to 2.0.
In summary, this is the perfect portable reference book for XSLT 1.0. I wouldn't recommend using it to learn XSLT from scratch, but then that's not the purpose of this book. An understanding of the basics of XSLT or XML is all that's required to make this book a fantastic resource for the XSLT developer.
This is what the book gave me. Some times less is more!