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  You are here: home Info Bank Book Reviews » Professional XSL Friday, 12 October 2007
Book Review: Professional XSL
Three specifications nicely presented and illustrated: XSLT, XPath, and XSL-FO - this book is ideal for developers who have a good understanding of XML data and its structure, and who need to transform the data or apply styling for business-to-business and web applications.

The book starts with a nice introduction to XSL and XPath. Authors of this book make sure that you understand XPath well, before jumping into details of XSL. Following three chapters are dedicated to XSLT covering basics of XSLT, some power techniques to improve performance and efficiency of stylesheets, and details on incorporating external templates and documents.

Chapter 6 discusses DOM and SAX to illustrate how they can be used to transform XML as an alternative to XSL or as a precursor to an XSL transformation.

A full chapter is dedicated to Microsoft's support for XSL - in MSXML 3.0 and in .NET framework. The following chapter covers a nice practical approach towards optimizing performance while developing stylesheets.

Chapter 9 then brings in the discussion on XSL-FO. CSS is also discussed in this chapter.

I found next four chapters very interesting - they cover most frequently asked questions as to "How do I transform my XML to ...?", where ... represents HTML or WAP or SVG or VoiceXML.

Chapter 14 explores some of the useful collaboration opportunities that exists between XSL transformations and schemas. And the final chapter 15 presents an example of how XSLT could take the model of a system represented in the Petri Net Markup Language and transform PNLM according to the rules of Petri net simulation.

Case study is a good reading (and practical example) to understand how you can use <xsl:import> and <xsl:apply-imports> to moduleralize your stylesheets when designing/developing an application that includes XSLT transformations.

The last pages in the book include seven useful appendices: XPath Reference, XSLT Reference, DOM, SAX 2.0, XSLT Processors/Tools, Shorthand XSLT Tools, and Resources.

Overall, a nice book to step-by-step learn XPath, XSLT, and XSL-FO.

86%   (22 votes)

Would you recommend this book? :    Yes   No    
Additional Book Information

Professional XSL
Publisher:    Wrox Press
ISBN #:    1861003579
Authors:    Kurt Cagle, Michael Corning,
Jason Diamond, Teun Duynstee,
Oli Gudmundsson, Jirka Jirat,
Mike Mason, Jonathan Pinnock,
Paul Spencer, Jeff Tang,
Paul Tchistopolski, Jeni Tennison, and
Andrew Watt
Publish Date:    April 2001
Code:    Download
Errata:    View/Submit
Online Discussions:    http://p2p.wrox.com/list.asp?list=xslt

Sample Chapter on perfectxml.com

Chapter 3: XSLT Basics

Buy this book online

BookPool:    NA
Amazon:    $39.99
Fatbrain:    $39.99
Barnes & Noble:    $39.99
Chapters.ca:    $74.95

Summary of Contents

Introduction
Chapter 1: Introduction to XSL
Chapter 2: XPath - The XML Path Language
Chapter 3: XSLT Basics
Chapter 4: Modular XSLT
Chapter 5: External XSLT
Chapter 6: Transformations Using DOM and SAX
Chapter 7: Microsoft XSL Technologies
Chapter 8: Optimizing Performance
Chapter 9: CSS and XSL-FO
Chapter 10: Common Structural Transformation
Chapter 11: Adding Style with XSLT
Chapter 12: Transforming to SVG
Chapter 13: Transformations to VoiceXML
Chapter 14: XSLT and XML Schemas
Chapter 15: XSLT and Schema-Based Programming

Case Study: Online Content Publication

Appendices
Appendix A: XPath Reference
Appendix B: XSLT Reference
Appendix C: The XML Document Object Model
Appendix D: SAX 2.0: The Simple API for XML
Appendix E: XSLT Processors and Tools
Appendix F: Shorthand XSLT Tools
Appendix G: Resources
Index
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