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XSLT programming

XSL Transformations, or XSLT, is an XML-based language used for transforming XML documents. It grew out of the XSL work that also produced XSL-FO. As with XML and HTML, the XSLT specification is a Recommendation developed by the W3C.

The language is declarative, i.e. an XSLT stylesheet consists of a collection of template rules, which each specify what to add to the result tree when the XSLT processor finds a node in the source tree that meets certain conditions. (To avoid the system-specific issues that come with addressing file I/O, the XSLT spec speaks of transforming a source tree to a result tree, although virtually all XSLT processors begin by reading an input document into a source tree and finish by writing the result tree to an output document.) The document created from the result tree may be XML, but doesn't have to be; it can be HTML, RTF, TeX, delimited files, or any other text-based format.

The W3C's XPath language for addressing subsets of a document tree adds a great deal of power to an XSLT stylesheet's ability to specify the transformations to perform on an XML source tree.

The W3C finalized the XSLT 1.0 specification in 1999 and the XSLT 2.0 specification currently has 'Working Draft' status.

The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Xslt".