XSLT Tutorial


In this XSLT tutorial, we’ll explore the processing model, XSLT elements, conditional statements, namespaces, and XSLT processing models. We’ll also discuss some of the tools and libraries that are available to help you learn the language. XSLT is a powerful markup language and it can be used to make dynamic web pages. It’s also very flexible, meaning that you can use it to build anything you want.

XSLT conditional statements

XSLT conditional statements use the IF-THEN-ELSE pattern to specify when certain content should be instantiated and other content should be skipped. Each element in a conditional statement has a test attribute that contains a boolean expression. If the value of the test attribute is true, the content is instantiated; otherwise, it will be skipped.

This mechanism is best used with inputs that have varying structures and matching criteria. In a procedural stylesheet, XSLT conditional statements can be used to specify a default entry point, select nodes, and dispatch a template. The template dispatch approach is more complex but can produce succinct stylesheets.

Both approaches have their pros and cons. In the push strategy, all the elements are pushed into the stylesheet while the pull stylesheet uses xsl: template. The latter uses the XSL: the apply-template element to process the template.

XSLT namespaces

XSLT namespaces are a relatively complex topic and a thorough understanding of them is required to make the most effective use of them. The namespace attribute defines which elements are associated with a specific namespace. Namespaces can also be defined using a select attribute or enclosed sequence constructor.

Namespaces are used to qualify the names of elements and attributes in a document. In the above example, we will use a default namespace that applies to the “p” element. When an element is defined in this namespace, the XSLT processor will automatically generate a namespace node.

Namespaces are important because they allow XSLT to identify the elements and attributes in a document. While this method works fine without them, the main schema that pulls together multiple sub-schemas would be difficult to identify. This means that different teams may work on different files, and name clashes will make it difficult to find the definition of a given element or attribute. A namespace allows for a unique identifier to be specified, like the URL of a company.

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