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Combining coverage of XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 into one book, this authoritative reference provides equal weight to the powerful new features of XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 and the established capabilities of the 1.0 versions. Author Michael Kay has created his own implementation of XSLT 2.0 (Saxon), and he puts his unique knowledge to work in this detailed reference to the elements of the XSLT 2.0 language and the fundamentals of XPath, complete with syntax, practical usage advice, and examples.
The book begins by teaching the essential concepts behind the language, knowledge you need if you are going to write good code rather than just working code. You will discover how XSLT and XPath differ from other languages, and how you use them to create effective web-based applications. The central chapters provide meticulous coverage of the language features of XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0. You will return to this reference whenever you encounter new programming challenges. You finish with detailed case studies highlighting real applications to give you insights you would otherwise gain only from months of practical experience.
What you will learn from this book
All the XSLT elements you can use in a stylesheet and the detailed rules for the syntax and semantics of each
How Path expressions enable you to navigate around the structure of an XML document
How you can improve your stylesheets by taking advantage of the XML Schema definitions of input and output documents
How to take advantage of vendor extensions without losing portability
Techniques for taking advantage of XSLT to write real applications
Who this book is for This book is for experienced programmers who are looking to become proficient with XSLT 2.0. Previous experience with XSLT or XPath is not necessary. However, a working knowledge of XML, HTML, and web architecture is beneficial.
Wrox Programmer's References are designed to give the experienced developer straight facts on a new technology, without hype or unnecessary explanations. They deliver hard information with plenty of practical examples to help you apply new tools to your development projects today.
About the Author
Michael Kay has been working in the XML field since 1997; he became a member of the XSL Working Group soon after the publication of XSLT 1.0, and took over as editor of the XSLT 2.0 specification in early 2001. He is also a member of the XQuery and XML Schema Working Groups, and is a joint editor of the XPath 2.0 specification. He is well known not only through previous editions of this book but also as the developer of the open source Saxon product, a pioneering implementation of XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery 1.0. In 2004 the author formed his own company, Saxonica, to provide commercial software and services building on the success of the Saxon technology. Previously, he spent three years with Software AG, working with the developers of the Tamino XML server, an early XQuery implementation. His background is in database technology: after leaving the University of Cambridge with a Ph.D., he worked for many years with the (then) computer manufacturer ICL, developing network, relational, and objectoriented database software products as well as a text search engine, and held the position of ICL Fellow.
You won't easily find a better book on XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0. The reason is very simple: Michael Kay is THE expert on the subject, he has been publishing xslt references for almost a decade now. Currently he is the editor of the XSLT 2.0 specification at W3C. He is also involved the XQuery and the XML Schema Working Groups, also at W3C. He has developed the Saxon XSLT processor. This book (like its predecessors were and its future versions will be) is the definitive reference on XSLT.
I could have survived on the two books, but tired of taking them from my office to my home and vice versa, I ordered the new edition and I am enjoying it very much. After using the new edition for a week or so I have come upon quite a few improvements, for instance the chapter on regular expressions contains more information and is better structured. Examples have been updated and as have been the appendices covering the processors. There is a new appendix on the Altova processor.
I should also mention the quality of the paper, the binding and the price, they are much better than the two previous books together.Read more ›
This is a review specifically of the Kindle edition. I have used the print version of this book, and it's a great reference. It's a bulky, heavy book, so I decided to purchase a Kindle copy that would be more portable. Unfortunately, the Kindle version is a disaster, and I recommend it to no one.
After the Table of Contents, the book uses hyperlinks rarely if at all. Cross-references from one section of the book to another are not hyperlinked; they still list the original page number, with no way to jump to the appropriate section. Likewise, the index features no links (and no page numbers) at all. The index to the Kindle edition is basically a list of all the topics covered in the book with no way to access any of those topics.
This makes the book hard to use as a reference. For instance, it's really hard to look up an XPath function. One long chapter contains an entry for each XPath function. The Table of Contents does not list the individual functions. The list that's found at the start of the chapter shows page numbers rather than hyperlinks. The index entry for the function doesn't have a link. That leaves you with two ways to look up the function you want. One is to use the search feature. That's great if the function has an unusual name, but a search for a function name like "document" returns far too many hits to be helpful. Or, you can flip through the pages in the chapter one by one until you find the page you're looking for--which takes longer than just leafing through the print book.
As reviews of the print edition will tell you, this isn't a book you're likely to sit down and read from beginning to end. You'll want to use the book to look up the details on specific functions, elements, or techniques. But because this book hasn't been optimized for the Kindle, it will be almost impossible to find what you want efficiently. Avoid the Kindle edition at all costs; stick to the print version for your XSLT/XPath reference.
Everyone working seriously with XSLT will want this book. The fourth edition is newly updated and improved. Not only has it been corrected to reflect the design of the current XSLT and XPath specifications (which were not final when the 3rd edition went to press), but also it has been redesigned for usability, with much better indexes and navigation apparatus. No more casting about to find things (although you may still not resist a few post-it notes here and there). XSLT and XPath are now in one volume (a big plus); the lighter pages and hard cover make the book serviceable as a reference text in regular use. It sits open and will wear well (provided you use it for its intended purpose and not as a coaster for your drink, which will be tempting since the book will be there open on your desk).
But the book's strengths are unchanged. Complete and comprehensive, coherent, realistic, clear, with worked examples. No one knows this technology better than the author, who has served on the XSL Working Group and edited the XSLT 2.0 Recommendation. Long-time observers will also confirm that he is also one of the best in the business at explaining things.
The only thing less than positive to say about this book is that beginners may find it intimidating. Don't. Just supplement it with a treatment aimed at you such as XSLT 1.0 Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) or anything by Jeni Tennison, and keep the Programmer's Reference ready for the summary comprehensive view, or when you need to go deep.
I have seen many decrepit copies of earlier editions of this book used by industry professionals. This one looks to be good for a long time to come.
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