Chapter 6. Transforming XML with XSLT

We’ve covered using SAX to capture XML parsing events and output corresponding HTML for display in a web browser. XML’s power lies in its ability to represent data for data’s sake. XML is not concerned with displays such as web pages, handheld devices, PostScript files, etc. Instead, XML is concerned only with the structure of your information. For this reason, we frequently parse XML and convert it to another format for viewing, such as HTML.

In this chapter, we discuss Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT). One of the simplest things that XSLT does is transform your XML documents into HTML documents for consumption by browsers. We go over how to construct an XSLT stylesheet that performs the same transformation for you that SAX did earlier, but with considerably less effort. Keep in mind, however, that XSLT is more powerful than mere HTML production as it transforms one XML document written for a specific DTD or dialect into another dialect. These XML to XML transformations can be very powerful when exchanging business documents between Internet domains that use different dialects. Dialects and validation are covered in Chapter 7.

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