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Preface

0.1. Organization of This Book

The heart of this book is designed to take you through the basics of XSLT and help you solve problems with this exciting new technology. It contains the following chapters:

Chapter 1, "Getting Started", covers the basics of XML and discusses how to install the Xalan stylesheet engine.

Chapter 2, "The Obligatory Hello World Example", takes a look at an XML-tagged "Hello World" document, then examines stylesheets that transform it into other things.

Chapter 3, "XPath: A Syntax for Describing Needles and Haystacks", covers the basics of XPath, the language used to describe parts of an XML document.

Chapter 4, "Branching and Control Elements", discusses the logic elements of XSLT (<xsl:if> and <xsl:choose>) and how they work.

Chapter 5, "Creating Links and Cross-References", Covers the different ways to build links between elements in XML documents. Using XPath to describe relationships between related elements is also covered.

Chapter 6, "Sorting and Grouping Elements", Goes over the <xsl:sort> element and discusses various ways to sort elements in an XML document. It also talks about how to do grouping with various XSLT elements and functions.

Chapter 7, "Combining XML Documents", discusses the document() function, which allows you to combine several XML documents, then write a stylesheet that works against the collection of documents.

Chapter 8, "Extending XSLT",> explains how you can write extension elements and extension functions. Although XSLT and XPath are extremely powerful and flexible, there are still times when you need to do something that isn't provided by the language itself.

Chapter 9, "Case Study: The Toot-O-Matic",> goes through a complicated case study that puts XSLT through its paces. The chapter reviews the Toot-O-Matic, an XSLT tool that generates a wide range of output documents from a single file.

The last section of the book contains reference information:

Appendix A, "XSLT Reference", an alphabetical listing of all the elements defined by XSLT, with a discussion of all attributes of those elements and how they were designed to be used.

Appendix B, "XPath Reference", a listing of various aspects of XPath, including datatypes, axes, node types, and operators.

Appendix C, "XSLT and XPath Function Reference",> an alphabetical listing of all the functions defined by XPath and XSLT.

Appendix D, "XSLT Guide", a series of "How do I...?" questions, with brief examples and/or references to sections of the book that explain how to do common tasks.

Glossary, a glossary of terms used in XSLT, XPath, and XML in general.



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