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Java and XSLT by Eric M. Burke

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Introduction to JAXP 1.1

TrAX was a great idea, and the original work and concepts behind it were absorbed into JAXP Version 1.1. If you search for TrAX on the Web and get the feeling that the effort is waning, this is only because focus has shifted from TrAX to JAXP. Although the name has changed, the concept has not: JAXP provides a standard Java interface to many XSLT processors, allowing you to choose your favorite underlying implementation while retaining portability.

First released in March 2000, Sun’s JAXP 1.0 utilized XML 1.0, XML Namespaces 1.0, SAX 1.0, and DOM Level 1. JAXP is a standard extension to Java, meaning that Sun provides a specification through its Java Community Process (JCP) as well as a reference implementation. JAXP 1.1 follows the same basic design philosophies of JAXP 1.0, adding support for DOM Level 2, SAX 2, and XSLT 1.0. A tool like JAXP is necessary because the XSLT specification defines only a transformation language; it says nothing about how to write a Java XSLT processor. Although they all perform the same basic tasks, every processor uses a different API and has its own set of programming conventions.

JAXP is not an XML parser, nor is it an XSLT processor. Instead, it provides a common Java interface that masks differences between various implementations of the supported standards. When using JAXP, your code can avoid dependencies on specific vendor tools, allowing flexibility to upgrade to newer tools when they become available.

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