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XML is established as the universal standard for delivering documents and data on the Web. The next step is to process that data and the XSL Transformation language, XSLT, has been developed as the primary means for such processing. XSLT can be used to convert XML data for presentational purposes as well as to modify data structure.
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Aimed at both Web designers and Web developers, Beginning XSLT provides an in-depth tutorial and reference to XSL, plus related XML tools and standards. Starting from the ground up, this text provides an extremely detailed yet accessible survey of the latest in tools and XSL programming techniques that can extend the range of your XML-driven Web applications or Web sites.
As a thorough tutorial to XSL, this text stands out, with its patient authorial style and the consistent use of an online TV guide for a case study used to illustrate key concepts. The advantage to this approach is the consistency of the material. Early sections look at the underpinnings of XML itself before delving into the basics of transforming XML data (for a TV schedule) into (X)HTML using today's tools, including MSXML, Saxon, and Xalan.
The author's expertise is continually on display throughout this text as she adds new functions and flexibility to XSL operations, including searching and sorting abilities. This book convincingly demonstrates that XSL is a "real" programming language, with support for variables and even simulating changing variables through recursion. Chances are you may not need every technique presented here, but the range of options covered remains impressive and helps make this a book you can return to more than once as you extend your knowledge of XSL over time.
Later sections range further afield, with material on extensions to "standard" XSL (like extension functions and attributes that let you do more), as well as other options for processing XML (like Schematron, for example). Two standards get their due late in the book--the Resource Definition Framework Site Summary (RSS), for describing content channels, and graphics defined with the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) standard. Handy reference sections for XSL keywords and XPath round out this admirably rich text.
For anyone new to XSL, this title will serve in providing the basics, with its patient presentation style and truly clear examples. For those who want to do even more, this book is surprisingly deep for a beginner's text. In all, it provides a wealth of options for XSL and related standards that will definitely meet the needs of a variety of readers seeking to get acquainted with today's important XSL standards and tools. --Richard DraganFrom the Publisher:
This book introduces those with a little knowledge of markup languages (HTML, XML, etc.) to the exciting world of XSLT. No prior programming knowledge is assumed or needed. This is a Wrox Beginning ... series book, so we will aim to teach you everything you need to know from scratch. This book will be equally beneficial to designers and programmers alike.
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