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XSLT Programmer's Reference 2nd Edition Paperback – April, 2001
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Written by a true expert in the field, Michael Kay's XSLT, Second Edition is a thorough and truly informative guide to using XSLT and XML for real projects. With plenty of in-depth information on current standards and tools, this tutorial and reference is all any working developer needs to implement XSLT-based applications effectively.
The book is remarkable in its wide-ranging perspective on XML and XSLT, plus it contains a complete reference to all elements and keywords used in XSLT and XPath. The author has created his own open-source implementation of XSLT and thus writes knowledgeably about all current XML standards. Early sections explain the larger strategies of using XSLT to transform XML data for browsers or for B2B systems. Clear diagrams--and short sample documents--are used to explain where XSLT fits into the big picture of today's XML-based systems. The book has plenty to say about new and emerging standards, so you can plan effectively for what's on the horizon.
The core of the book is its 400-page alphabetical reference on every XSL element, expression, and function (including XPath for querying and specifying XML data). Each entry is amply illustrated with example code and hints for using each feature correctly. You also get plenty of rules for using common XSL features effectively, along with sample usage.
Later sections of the book look at "design patterns" for types of XSLT style sheets, including simple fill-in-the-blanks and more advanced rule-based and computation style sheets. There are also digestible examples of XSLT used to format a long text document (for the XML standard itself), genealogy data (for a family tree), and a chess problem. Several appendices provide information on several popular XML and XSLT tools, including Microsoft MSXML3, the author's own Saxon XSLT processor, and Apache's Xalan tool.
With its mix of practical advice and solid reference matter, this book is a perfect choice for any developer working with XML and XSLT who needs a reliable guide to these important and groundbreaking technologies. --Richard Dragan
- Introduction and reference to XSLT standards
- Basics of transforming XML with XSLT, XPath, XPointer, and related XML standards
- The XML tree model
- Transforming XML (including push and pull processing)
- XSLT variables, expressions, and datatypes
- The structure of style sheets (including top-level elements and template bodies)
- Comprehensive reference to all XSLT elements, expressions, patterns, and functions
- Style sheet design patterns (fill-in-the-blanks, navigational, rule-based, and computational style sheets)
- Sample XSLT code for formatting a large document (with the XML specification)
- A family tree (with genealogical data) and chess data (the Knight's tour problem)
- Appendices and references for XSLT/XML tools (including Microsoft MSXML3, Oracle Java XSLT processor, the Saxon processor, and Apache Xalan)
From the Publisher
This book has been selected by the editors of Wrox Press to be part of the Wroxbase website.
This book is for programmers already using XML to organize their data in applications and for those who want to use the power and compatibility of XSLT to improve the display of their data. The book is in three parts: a detailed introduction to the concepts of the language, a reference section giving comprehensive specifications and working examples of every feature, and an exploitation guide giving advice and case studies for the advanced user.
Top customer reviews
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I have the XML Bible but like most books on XML, they only treat XSLT/XSLF with a chapter or two. I was getting sick of formatting my XML using the most basic XSL commands available and that's what these XML books were offering. Solution: book on XSL! I wanted to learn how to make my formatted XML more dynamic, more functionable in the browser.
The book does start on a slightly XSL beginner's note. It goes over XSLT's background (probably cases for XSL over CSS) and the structure of an XSL stylesheet. From here, it goes in to a nice, 200-page XSL element reference with more transforming element tags than you can shake a stick at. After a chapter on Expressions, my two favorite chapters on Patterns & Functions show the real power of XSL. The book concludes with a chapter on Design Patterns (probably help you organize your XSL code more functionally), Worked Examples (not enough books have these contained within!), and XML/XSL-related products.
Make sure you have some XML background first! Maybe that goes without saying, but I'll still offer Wrox's Professional XML as a primer. Please keep in mind that this XSLT book is an 800-page reference with a tiny tutorial section on XSL. If you are relatively new to XSL and want the basics, you are better off getting your info on the web [...] and when you've got those XSL offerings down, then go to this reference!
The beware is that the author recommends his own XSLT processor (Saxon). It is good and I would encourage people to use it, but it does some really stupid things that could drive you crazy. For instance, if one of the files you stipulate on the command line cannot be found, it doesn't tell you that, it just throws the filename up on the screen instead of the output. Likewise, if you leave the <xsl:stylesheet> tag open, it will just say 'error processing stylesheet no more input'. These are but two examples. We also found that his implementation of the crucial document function doesn't work in his Java code, where the Apache projects did. It's a shame these kinds of things are in here because XSLT allows you to very quickly perform some incredibly sophisticated feats without killing yourself. Definitely buy, just proceed with caution once you start working with it.
Most recent customer reviews
For that, this book is the bible.Read more
I have to whip up an XSL transform only a few times a year, so I never...Read more