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      Guidelines and Netiquette   03/28/2017

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boen_robot

XSLT FAQ

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boen_robot    105
Jonas    150

1. How to create attributes with XSLT?Unfortunately, that's the greatest loss of W3Schools' XSLT tutorial, so this question is not surprising at all. There are two ways you can create attributes in XSLT. Switch them depending on what you need:- Attribute Value Templates (often called AVT in short)It is an XPath expression, written directly into an attribute's value, surrounded by parenthesis. For example

<img src="{/foo/bar}"/>

Use it for simpler situations. AVT may also be used in the <xsl:attribute>, <xsl:element> and <xsl:processing-instruction> elements' name attribute.- The <xsl:attribute> element. The first non-XSLT parent takes that attribute. The equivalent of the above is

<img><xsl:attribute name="src"><xsl:value-of select="/foo/bar"/></xsl:attribute></img>

Use this element when you need to create the attribute only on certain conditions, or if you'd like to have the attribute name varying by putting an AVT inside it.

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boen_robot    105

2. What does it mean to "transform XML with XSLT on XSLT processor"?/Can I make my XML do this with XSLT?Those questions are closely related. Most people find it hard to grasp how the whole XSLT process works. There are many topics on the net to show that. There is even a post here in this forum that attempts to explain the XSLT process in detail and how it differs from XSL-FO.In short, what you need to understand is that instead of manipulating "the look" of your XML or making the XML "do" things, an XSLT processor turns it into another code (most oftenly XHTML) and that code is then rendered by the browser's rendering engine or (more rarely) taken by another application for another transformation and/or processing.

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Jonas    150

3. How to show the results of an XSLT transformation inside HTML pages?There is a cross browser JavaScript assembled by hacknsack from various browser specific codes to do this. It should work in IE6, IE7, FF1.5, FF2 and O9. Unfortunately, the script still has some problems, some of which are mentioned in the referenced topic. The greatest disability yet is that it can only display one transformation per page. Everyone fluent in JavaScript is more then welcome to help make this script easier to use and more efficient. Please, post your findings in that topic.In addition to this simply "copy&paste" function, there is a JavaScript library called Sarissa, which in addition to executing XSLT in a cross browser fashion, with all of its features, also provides a few additional functions, such as one for cross browser XPath.

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boen_robot    105

4. I want to display the contents of an XML in parts and maybe even add some controls on a user friendly page. How can I do this in XSLT?andreathedove (a forum member) first made an XSLT for that, which was very broken, but still served as a start. boen_robot took the liberty of fixing and generalizing it as much as he could. You can find the latest version in the original topic called Paging XML. Tweak the various parameters according to your needs, check the paths to match the path of your paged content and adjust the pagedElement template. If anything is unclear, PM boen_robot with what exactly you have problems with and tell him what to write to make it more clear.It should be noted that XSLT isn't particularly suitable for processing large XML datasets, because it works with the XML's DOM (or another kind of tree) representation under the hood. The DOM (or the tree) however quickly gets very big (RAM wise), so if you go overboard with displaying XML data like that, you'll quickly exhaust your server/browser limits.

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Jonas    150

5. I want to display a sequence of elements on the same level (for example "/root_element/first_child_that_repeats_lots_of_times") in a table with a fixed predefined number of columns. How can I do that?There are many ways people describe this, depending on their context. Typically it goes like "I have a list of *, and I want to display the first N items from it on the first row of a table, the second N items on the second row, etc." or something like that. In rarer cases, it goes like "I have a bunch of * elements, and I want to wrap a certain element around them on every N occurances of the * element".Either way, this problem is just trivial. There are many solutions to it. Some using extensions, some not, some easy to adapt, some not that much, and so on. The first post in this forum to present a working solution shows two variations, one of which works everywhere, while the first doesn't work in Transformiix (the XSLT processor which Firefox uses). There's also another solution from aalbetski and even though it's probably a bit more complicated then it needs to, it still deserves to be mentioned.

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boen_robot    105

6. How to do XSLT processing in PHP?In PHP4, there was the Sablotron XSLT processor, which never reached a stable state, which is why it was removed from PHP5 in favor of libxslt. Exactly because of the above, it is highly recommended that you move to PHP5 if you need to process XSLT. XML support (in general) is far better in PHP5.On Windows, in order to use libxslt, you need to first install PHP from an archive, so that you have the php_xsl.dll extension. Then, in php.ini, be sure that you've set the "extension_dir" to the proper path where this file is. If you've installed PHP in "C:\PHP5\", then that directive needs to be set with this line:

extension_dir = "C:\PHP5\ext"

also, find and uncomment the line

extension=php_xsl.dll

and finally restart your web server (be it Apache, IIS or whatever).For sample codes to get you started with libxslt, refer to this article or this one. Read the XSL functions reference for more things you can do with libxslt in PHP.

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Jonas    150

7. How to do XSLT processing in Cold Fusion?Here is a sample code from Dreamwaver 8's reference. Just replace the file paths with the actual locations of the XML and XSLT on the file system.

<cffile action="read" file="C:\test.xsl" variable="xmltrans"><cfset xmldoc = XmlParse("C:\test.xml")><cfoutput>#XmlTransform(xmldoc, xmltrans)#</cfoutput>

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boen_robot    105

8.Can I have string replacement/regular exp​ressions/custom XPath functions/[insert apparently missing cool feature] in XSLT?Natively in XSLT 1.0, you can't. You can do these things, and quite a few more in XSLT 2.0. However, keep in mind that most processors around are XSLT 1.0 processors. This includes the XSLT processors of all browsers, Xalan (The Apache Foundation's XSLT processor), libxslt (PHP5's XSLT processor), MSXML (ASP(.NET)'s built in XSLT processor).If you program in a COM aware environment (e.g. PHP under Windows) or a .NET or JAVA runtime, you can try to use Altova XML as your XSLT processor. If you run in a .NET or JAVA runtime, you could also try to use SAXON. If you have another kind of environment, you can only use either of these processor from the command line (assuming you can execute programs from the command line).If installing an XSLT 2.0 processor is not an option for whatever reason, you can port some of XSLT 2.0's functionality to XSLT 1.0 by the use of EXSLT extensions. Some of them are natively supported by some XSLT processors. You can check if your XSLT processor has a native support for a certain element/function by the use of the function-available() and element-available() XSLT functions. See EXSLT's "How to Use EXSLT" page for detailed instructions on how to use EXSLT extensions in your stylesheets.

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boen_robot    105

9. Where can I get more information on XSLT?Some of the more popular sites includeW3Schools' XSLT elements referenceW3C's XSL pageDPawson.co.ukXMLPitstop.comTopXML.com

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