Inasmuch as Ant is good at re-running an XSLT transformation or a series of transformations when the XML source changes but not so good at re-running when one of the transformations’ stylesheets’ sub-modules changes, it’s a simple thing to generate on-the-fly a temporary build file containing
paths listing the dependencies of each stylesheet so Ant can do the right thing. Continue reading
Inasmuch as I’m trying out XSLT 3.0 techniques, I’ve been looking at using a map of functions that return attributes as an alternative to using
xsl:attribute-set. However, in the work so far, neither is significantly better than the other IMO. Continue reading
Inasmuch as few people yet have much (or any) experience using XSLT 3.0 on more than toy examples, https://github.com/MenteaXML/xslt3testbed is a public, medium-sized XSLT 3.0 project where people could try out new XSLT 3.0 features on the transformations to (X)HTML(5) and XSL-FO that are what we do most often and, along the way, maybe come up with new design patterns for doing transformations using the higher-order functions, partial function application, and other goodies that XSLT 3.0 gives us. Continue reading
Inasmuch as I was talking at Balisage about adapting the Saxon-CE event model to XSL-FO, I ended up talking with Lauren Wood and Matt Patterson about the general case for a XSLT 2.0 processor, or a processor for a subset of XSLT 2.0, that could be used in language bindings and web browsers as a replacement for the stuck-at-XSLT-1.0 libXSLT processor.
Since we were going to talk about it more at the XML Summer School anyway, I did a five-minute lightning talk (slides) at the “unconference sessions”. Happily, it got more people at the Summer School trying things. Michael Kay of Saxonica was at the presentation, and not only did he welcome the idea of compiling Saxon to C, Saxonica now state that they’re looking at the possibility.
Inasmuch as the offer’s open a bit longer, you can still use the XML13 discount code for a 10% discount on your fees for this year’s XML Summer School.
This year, with Patricia Walmsley, I’m teaching Improving stylesheets through the use of advanced features in the XSLT and XQuery track:
Most XSLT developers stick to a familiar core set of XPath and XSLT instructions and functions. There are a number of advanced features, many of them introduced in version 2.0, that appear only rarely in stylesheets even though they can be very useful in certain situations. In this course, we will explore some of these less-used features, showing interactively how they can be applied to improve existing XSLT stylesheets. XPath features covered will include operators like
>>, quantified expressions, and 2.0 functions that can significantly simplify your stylesheets. XSLT features covered will include grouping, regular expression matching and advanced modularization using modes and instructions like
Other sessions in the track are XSLT Efficiency and Effectiveness taught by Michael Kay, Querying XML Databases with XQuery taught by Adam Retter, and Trends in XSLT/XQuery taught by Florent Georges, while the other tracks during the week are XML Primer, Hands-on Introduction to XML, Publishing With XML, Semantic Technologies, Trends and Transients, and Hands-on Web Publishing. There's also the evening events, such as punting, the formal dinner, and the unconference session, where I'm lined up to present a lightning talk.
use-when is one of the standard attributes in XSLT 2.0 (and later) rather than being on a particular XSLT element, it seldom gets much of a mention; e.g., currently only 568 mentions on the XSL-List according to MarkMail (and some of those are false positives).
xsl:use-when on non-XSLT elements) is for “conditional element inclusion” and is very useful for excluding elements that either aren’t currently useful or that will cause errors if acted upon. The
use-when in the example below causes the
xsl:value-of to be used only when
saxon:line-number() is available, thereby avoiding the
Saxon extension functions are not available under Saxon-HE message from more recent versions of Saxon HE where
saxon:line-number() is no longer available but
producing a useful result on older Saxon HE versions where the function
<!-- Leftover intermediate elements. -->
<xsl:value-of select="t:node-basename(.)" />
<xsl:text> :: </xsl:text>
<xsl:copy-of select="." />
use-when expression is evaluated very early in the processing of the stylesheet, and you can’t use variable references in the expression. So don’t be tempted to try:
Inasmuch as you, like me, may have missed xslide’s “Template” menu when editing XSLT using Emacs’ nXML-mode, I’ve made available my “xslide2” XSLT mode for Emacs that I’ve been using for a while. This new xslide is a derived mode that uses nXML-mode for nearly everything and adds back some of the XSLT-specific parts of xslide.
Future development is happening on the Trac and Subversion for the xslide SourceForge project. See https://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/xslide/wiki/WikiStart.
Inasmuch as a “feature key” is how you configure a Java JAXP XSLT processor, it’s good to see that Saxon 9.3 has added feature keys for setting the initial template and initial mode. In fact, Saxon has gone from 30 feature keys in Saxon 9.0 to 70 in 9.2 and now 79 in 9.3.
Where this becomes useful (outside of your own Java programs) is being able to specify the initial template and/or mode in the
<xslt> task in Ant build files. Continue reading
Inasmuch as software has moved on since 2008 when I wrote about When Ant is subsidiary to <oXygen/>, I now run XSpec from <oXygen/> using the Ant bundled with recent <oXygen/>. Continue reading
Inasmuch as I added both my XML-in-Practice 2009 talk on XSL FO 2.0 and my XML Prague 2009 talks and posters to the “Presentations” page at http://www.menteithconsulting.com/wiki/Presentations, it is now up to date. Continue reading