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Learn XSLT by example
Until I spent a weekend with Sal Mangano's book XSLT Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for XML and XSLT Developers (O'Reilly & Associates) my all-time favorite XSLT reference was Michael Kay's XSLT Programmer's Reference (Wrox, 2nd Edition). I'm still not ready to retire the Kay book after my recent experience, but I have to give the Mangano book an enthusiastic endorsement because it is not only full of examples (the Kay book has plenty of examples, too), but also because Mangano's examples represent precisely those transformations and functionality with which working XML professionals must regularly wrestle on a day-to-day basis.
As its title indicates, the XLST Cookbook is nothing more or less than a compendium of "recipes" for solving specific data handling or XSLT management problems that XML professionals encounter all the time. Here's a partial list of topics that this book covers and for which it provides detailed, working code examples
- Mathematical processing of input data (counting, enumeration, analysis)
- Date and time handling (lots of different formats and arrangements)
- String manipulation (grabbing and transforming input text)
- Managing calendar systems (transforming dates across multiple systems)
- Selecting and manipulating document content
- Converting XML content to plain text, HTML, XHTML, and so forth
- Using stylesheets with XML documents
- Using XSLT to parse and query XML documents
- Creating graphs and charts using XSLT and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
There's also substantial coverage of working with XSLT itself, including extending XSLT functionality with additional functionality, embedding XSLT in document processing environments, working with XSLT stylesheets, and creating XSLT processors for various XML applications or markup vocabularies. It even covers handling specific applications inside XSLT (such as MS Visio) and generating C and XSLT code for run-time processing using XSLT.
Those who work with XSLT on a regular basis, be they experienced and savvy professionals or those just starting their way up the XSLT learning curve, will find this book a useful source of information, examples, and usable code ready for customization. Highly recommended; a must-have tool!
About the Author
Ed Tittel is a 20-plus year veteran of the computing industry, who's worked as a programmer, manager, systems engineer, instructor, writer, trainer, and consultant. He's also the series editor of Que Certification's Exam Cram 2 and Training Guide series, and writes and teaches regularly on Web markup languages and related topics.
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