Appendix F. Saxon

Saxon is an implementation of XSLT 2.0 produced by the author of this book, Michael Kay. Saxon also includes XQuery and XML Schema processors. The product runs on two platforms, Java and .NET, and it exists in two versions: an open source product Saxon-B, which implements the basic conformance level of the XSLT specification, and a commercial product Saxon-SA, which adds schema-aware processing. All versions can be obtained by following links from

There is also an older version of Saxon available, version 6.5, which implements XSLT 1.0. This appendix is concerned only with the XSLT 2.0 processor.

The Java version of Saxon requires JDK 1.4 or a later Java release, and there are no other dependencies. The .NET version is produced by cross-compiling the Java code into the Intermediate Language (IL) used by the .NET platform, using the IKVMC cross-compiler produced by Jeroen Frijters ( This runs on .NET version 1.1 or 2.0.

There are three ways of running Saxon:

  • You can run it from within a product that provides a graphical user interface. Saxon doesn't come with its own GUI, but it is integrated into a number of development environments such as Stylus Studio ( and oXygen (, and it can be configured as an external processor for use within XML Spy ( If you just want to experiment with Saxon, the quickest way to get started is probably to download Kernow ( As long ...

Get XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 Programmer's Reference, 4th Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.