XSL rules like these are contained in an XSL Stylesheet, which is just a plain
text file filled with formatting instructions that look like the following example.
Note that this XSL is written in something that resembles XML. That is more
than mere coincidence because, ironically, XSL is actually written in XML and
is itself an XML vocabulary.
If your head is spinning around, hang on. XSL is used to format XML, which in
turn is used as the language for defining XSL. The circular logic can be confus-
ing, but fortunately, you dont need to worry about the particulars of how that
all works just know that it does. Actually, the fact that XSL uses XML to
describe its instructions makes it far easier to learn than trying to grasp yet
another language syntax.
When XSL was conceived by the W3C, the original intention of XSL was
simply to provide a way to format XML data. However, after people began to
use XML in the real world, it was discovered that something more was
needed besides assigning font colors and margin indentions to the content.
True, developers needed to be able to style XML in a way that was easily
readable, but they also discovered a need to change an XML document from
one XML structure to another, as well as to have the ability to easily convert
Chapter 1: Introducing the X-Team