Showing posts with label XSLT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label XSLT. Show all posts

Saturday, December 16, 2017

How to Edit Documents Using an XSLT Editor

How to Edit Documents Using an XSLT Editor

XSLT is short for Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations, which in common lingo means it is a programming language meant to change XML documents into other type of documents, whether it is the same format or some other format like HTML or normal text. It is mainly utilized to convert the cryptic XML data into a more web page friendly HTML or XHTML data. Naturally from all this information it can be derived that an XSLT Editor is a program that takes care of the actual process of converting the data involved.


Programmers agree that XSLT is a type of declarative programming which means the paradigm it follows describes what the program does instead of how it does it. However, the basic principle the XSLT editor follows is quite straightforward and easy to understand for non-programmers. The entire process consists of four main components. The first one is the source document which is ideally an XML text which needs to be converted. The important thing to note is, throughout the entire process the source does not get replaced, but only a new document is created based on a preset format specified.


The second component is the XSLT Stylesheet module which is just a document specifying some rules of templates and step-by-step guides for the processor. The processor that was just mentioned is the third component in the model, and its purpose is to merge the input documents and convert the basic source provided.


Last but not the least- the fourth component is the output document which can be opened with any common program as it generally uses extensions like '.pdf' or '.png', etc. If it is an HTML or common text document, then it can also be opened using Notepad.


Beginners and neophytes in the programming world need not worry about the complications involved in the actual conversion of these documents. In fact, Windows XP and later generations of Operating Systems come equipped with MSXML3 library that also hosts an XSLT 1.0 processor. It is obvious that to manually convert all of these documents one needs to have a firm grasp over all these related programming languages, but these days there are so many options online from where one can download XSLT Editors like Oxygen XML Editor and XML Spy to easily get the job done. If there is any more confusion regarding the use of any XSLT Editor, there are tutorial videos online which guide the viewer through each and every step once the desired editor is being searched for.


To sum it up, it can be said that the best option is thoroughly studying these languages and then manually convertong the documents in a XSLT Editor. This gives the user the required space to customize the process according to his need. For novices, the best option is to download an XSLT editor, watch the tutorials discussing on related forums and then getting on with the conversion. With practice, the novice can soon turn pro.



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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The History of the XSL and XSLT Protocols

The History of the XSL and XSLT Protocols

As is the case with many of the standards that are used today, there is a relatively confusing history that lies behind the XSL and XSLT standards. While it is true that many XSL editors also serve as XSLT editors, the reverse is not always the case, due to the difference between these standards.


Originally, XSL was intended to work as a combination of XML and XSL commands that could be used to generate a variety of different types of information. The W3C proposal for XSL featured these two things as separate parts of the overhead protocol. By using high level XML descriptions of the page information and layout, the transformation commands could be used to transform the XML into whatever output format was desired, be it a different kind of XML formatting or even an HTML page output. This provides users with the maximum amount of flexibility, as they can produce a variety of different output formats using the same type of commands. This means that XSL editors can be used to produce a variety of different outputs, using the same commands and XML data.


However, this was seen by Microsoft as providing more flexibility than was needed and becoming overly complicated. Since the majority of users would output HTML documents, Microsoft saw the inclusion of the XML formatting section of XSL as being excessively complex. As a result, Microsoft took the transformation part of the XSL protocol that W3C had created and used that as its core specification. While this takes out some of the flexibility that the XSL standard had introduced, it also provided ease of use for anyone who was using the protocol for outputting HTML documents.


This decision by Microsoft led to the split between XSL and XSLT. XSL is the specification that describes the formatting objects that are to be used. This is also informally known as the XSLFO or XSL-FO. The transformation part of the specification became known as XSLT, which is the part used to transform XML data into various types of objects. Primarily, this is the type which is used by the most people today, due to the fact that the formatting objects are not necessary.


As a result, XSLT editors can provide a user with the ability to transform XML documents into various forms, without the requirement that they use the XSLFO formatting objects. While this reduces some of the advantage of the overall protocol, the ease of use is seen by many to be well worth the reduction.


Some of the early Microsoft XSLT editors were less than satisfactory when it came to functionality. However, as the protocol has evolved and implementation of it has advanced, there have come into existence a variety of different XSL editors and XSLT editors that provide all the functionality that could ever be asked of the protocol. For anyone seeking to learn more in-depth information about these specifications and their associated editors, the W3C site features a variety of information concerning the protocol specifications, as well as the history of the protocol.



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Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Role of XSLT in Documents

The Role of XSLT in Documents

One of the latest tools for web design is the XSLT editor. The best way to learn about XSLT is to visit the wonderful web site of the World Wide Web Consortium or the W3 School on the web. The definition of XSLT is eXtensible Stylesheet Language. This language is a stylesheet language for creating XML documents. The function of the XSLT is to transform XML into XHTML. There is a vast knowledge bank available there to learn how to use XSLT for web design. Certification tests and tutorials are available for the earning and learning. If you would like to do some practical applications of this language, there is an on line XSLT editor at the W3 School web site.


The World Wide Web Consortium wanted to provide a language that would be an XML based stylesheet language. The evolution was first XSL and then XSLT, XPath and XSL-FO. With CSS, which is Stylesheets for HTML. Predefined tags are used with HTML and are well understood. With an HTML defined tag each browser knows how it must be displayed. CSS makes displaying special fonts or colors a simple task. The story is different with XSL. XSL is Stylesheets for XML. The opposite is the case with tags for XSL. XSL uses any tag-names with no predefined tag which makes XSL not well understood. When the browser sees XSL tag it will not know how to display it because in HTML the meaning of a tag defines a table but in XSL a tag might mean an HTML table or it could mean something else.


There are more than 100 built in functions in XSLT. Here are some of the functions: - string values - numeric values - date and time comparison - node - QName manipulation - sequence manipulation - Boolean values


There are many more functions with XSLT but these are just some of the notable ones. On your XSLT editor you will notice that the default prefix for the function namespace is fn: When calling a function fn: prefix, such as fn:string(). Another thing to take note of: since fn: is the default prefix of the namespace, the function names, when called, do not need to be prefixed.


The purpose of XSLT is to transform XML documents into XHTML document. XSLT will also transform XML documents to other XML documents. Another language for navigating XML documents is XPath. The most significant part of XSL is when XSLT is recognized by a browser the way HTML and XHTML are, XSLT is used to transform an XML document into another XML document. Here is the big picture of what XSLT can do. The actual mechanism is transformation by XSLT of an XML source tree into an XML result-tree. This is done with an XSLT editor with add/remove elements and attributes to or from the output file. Many other rearrangements can also be done such as sort elements, perform tests and make decisions about which elements to hide and display.



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