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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

XSLT Resources

You can find a great deal of material on XSLT online, and it's worth knowing what's out there. Note that all the following URLs are subject to change without notice—these lists are only as up to date as the people that maintain these sites allow them to be, and things can change frequently.

XSLT Specifications, Tutorials, and Examples

The starting place for XSLT resources, of course, is W3C itself. Here are the URLs for the W3C specifications that are used in this book:

Many XSLT tutorials and examples are available from other sources as well; here's a starter list:

I know of only one Usenet group on XSLT, however, and it's run by Microsoft—microsoft.public.xsl. Others will appear in time. You mightalso want to check out an XSL mailing list—it's at http://www.mulberrytech.com/ xsl/xsl-list.

Besides W3C specifications, tutorials, and examples, you'll also find plenty of editors that you can use to create XSLT stylesheets online.

XSLT Editors

To create the XML and XSL documents used in this book, all you need is a text editor of some kind, such as vi, emacs, pico, Windows Notepad or Windows WordPad. By default, XML and XSL documents are supposed to be written in Unicode, although in practice you can write them in ASCII, and nearly all of them are written that way so far. Just make sure that when you write a document, you save it in your editor's plain text format.

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Using WordPad -

Windows text editors such as WordPad have an annoying habit of appending the extension .txt to a filename if they don't understand the extension you've given the file. That's not actually a problem with .xml and .xsl files, because WordPad understands the extensions .xml and .xsl, but if you try to save documents that you create while working with this book with extensions that WordPad doesn't recognize, it'll add the extension .txt at the end. To avoid that, place the name of the file in quotation marks when you save it, as in "file.abc".

However, it can be a lot easier to use an actual XML editor, which is designed explicitly for the job of handling XML documents. Here's a list of some programs you can use to edit XML documents:

You can see XML Spy at work in Figure 1.5, XML Writer in Figure 1.6, and XML Notepad in Figure 1.7.

Figure 1.5 XML Spy editing XML.

Figure 1.6 XML Writer editing XML.

Figure 1.7 XML Notepad editing XML.

In fact, some dedicated XSLT editors are available. Here's a starter list:

XSLT Utilities

There are also many XSLT utilities available on the Web, and the following list includes some favorites:

That completes your overview of XSLT in this chapter, the foundation chapter. As you can see, there's a tremendous amount of material here, waiting to be put to work in this book. The rest of this chapter provides an overview of XSL-FO.

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