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Java and XSLT by Eric M. Burke

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Chapter 2. XSLT Part 1 -- The Basics

Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) is a specification from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is broken down into two complementary technologies: XSL Formatting Objects and XSL Transformations (XSLT). XSL Formatting Objects, a language for defining formatting such as fonts and page layout, is not covered in this book. XSLT, on the other hand, was primarily designed to transform a well-formed XML document into XSL Formatting Objects.

Even though XSLT was designed to support XSL Formatting Objects, it has emerged as the preferred technology for all sorts of transformations. Transformation from XML to HTML is the most common, but XSLT can also be used to transform well-formed XML into just about any text file format. This will give XML- and XSLT-based web sites a major leg up as wireless devices become more prevalent because XSLT can also be used to transform XML into Wireless Markup Language or some other stripped-down format that wireless devices will require.

XSLT Introduction

Why is transformation so important? XML provides a simple syntax for defining markup, but it is up to individuals and organizations to define specific markup languages. There is no guarantee that two organizations will use the exact same markup; in fact, you may struggle to agree on consistent formats within the same group or company. One group may use <employee>, while others may use <worker> or <associate>. In order to share data, the XML data has to be transformed ...

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