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8.11. Other XSLT Elements

This is hardly everything there is to say about XSLT. Indeed, XSLT does a lot more than the little we've covered in this introductory chapter. Other features yet to be discussed include:

  • Named templates

  • Numbering and sorting output elements

  • Conditional processing

  • Iteration

  • Extension elements and functions

  • Importing other stylesheets

These and more will all be discussed in Chapter 23. Since XSLT is itself Turing complete and since it can invoke extension functions written in other languages like Java, chances are very good you can use XSLT to make whatever transformations you need to make.

Furthermore, besides these additional elements, you can do a lot more simply by expanding the XPath expressions and patterns used in the select and match attributes of the elements with which you're already familiar. These techniques will be explored in Chapter 9.

However, the techniques outlined in this chapter lay the foundation for all subsequent, more advanced work with XSLT. The key to transforming XML documents with XSLT is to match templates to elements in the input document. Those templates contain both literal result data and XSLT elements that instruct the processor where to go to get more data. Everything you do with XSLT is based on this one simple idea.

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