Using XSLT can be rather daunting if it's a new language for you. But, once you have a grasp of how to use it, you can whip up custom navigation, RSS feeds, depicted calendars, product lists, and much more with great ease. The good news is that Umbraco comes with a set of predefined templates that you can use to generate standard output such as navigation and sitemaps. What's more is that they serve as a powerful learning tool to get you started on creating more advanced output and tailoring the stylesheets to your needs.

About XSLT

If you're an avid XSL developer you can skip this section because it covers the bare-bone basics of what XSLT is and how it applies to Umbraco. XSLT stands for Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation and is made up of XSL. XSL is basically a way to render structured data, in the form of XML elements, to the browser. There are a number of other ways to parse XML elements but we won't get into those here; however, you can find out how to parse these elements in Beginning XSLT and XPath: Transforming XML Documents and Data (Wiley, 2009).

image Microsoft .NET uses the XSL 1.0 specification. This means that you cannot take advantage of more advanced functions and methods presented in XSL 2.0.

The most important part of learning and using XSLT with Umbraco is understanding how you traverse the cached XML content tree using the XML Path ...

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