Michael Floyd gives you a quick alpha into creating XSL appearance bedding in this sample affiliate from his book, Special Edition Application XSLT.
This sample affiliate is excerpted from Special Edition Application XSLT, by Michael Floyd.
In this chapter
This affiliate is advised to accord you a quick alpha into creating XSL style sheets. Therefore, a minimum of approach will be presented. However, afore you can actualize alike your aboriginal appearance sheet, it is important to accept the basics of appearance area processing. As with the blow of this book, there is an emphasis on creating XSL transformations.
When an XML certificate is loaded, the parser takes the certificate and scans all of its components, which may include
As anniversary markup basic is scanned, it is placed in a hierarchical tree structure in memory. Once the absolute certificate is scanned, the certificate timberline can be accessed through Appliance Affairs Interfaces (APIs) like the Document Object Model (DOM).
In the case of XSL (both formatting altar and transformations), you can write appearance bedding that additionally admission this in-memory tree. From an XSL perspective, this is alleged the antecedent timberline because it represents the source document. The ambition in XSL processing is to actualize a additional timberline that contains the achievement you desire. This additional timberline is alleged the result tree. To actualize the aftereffect tree, you use rules in your XSL appearance sheet (called templates) to airing through the antecedent tree, baddest apparatus of the timberline you ambition to process, and transform them. The aftereffect of applying a style-sheet arrangement is placed in the aftereffect tree. In the case of formatting objects, the aftereffect timberline will accommodate a formatted adaptation of your XML document. In the case of a transformation, the aftereffect timberline will accommodate the transformed XML document.
To acutely accept how this action works, accede the XML certificate in Listing 2.1.
This XML document, which may accept been the aftereffect of some database operation, represents a archetypal balance absolute applicant information, a description of services, amount of services, and so on. Although in practice, this certificate might or ability not be stored as a concrete file, you may accord it a filename, invoice.xml, for the purposes of active this example.
For this aboriginal example, you would like to transform this certificate into HTML so that you can affectation the advice in a browser.
Conceptually, the antecedent timberline looks like Figure 2.1.
Figure 2.1 This conceptual appearance of the antecedent timberline shows how an XML certificate is burst bottomward into its basic parts.
Now you would like to airing this timberline and actualize the aftereffect timberline apparent in Figure 2.2.
Notice that the aftereffect timberline in Figure 2.2 does not accommodate XML elements. Rather it contains HTML elements.
How the aftereffect timberline gets streamed into a certificate depends on how the style sheet is applied. Recall from Affiliate 1, “The Essence of XSL,” that the appearance area may be allotment of a changeless advertence in the XML certificate instance. In this case, the achievement is handled by the XML parser. On the added hand, the style area may be activated dynamically by an appliance program. In this case, it is up to your affairs to beck the after-effects aback out to a file, a browser, or some added device.
Figure 2.2 The achievement from the XSLT processor is a result. In this case, the aftereffect timberline represents an HTML document.
Creating the Appearance Sheet
Let’s attending at a archetypal appearance area that ability be acclimated to transform the XML certificate in Listing 2.1 into HTML. Listing 2.2 shows the appearance sheet.
For simplicity, the ambition for this appearance area is to transform aloof four elements from the antecedent document: clientName, contact, descriptionOfServices, and costOfServices. This additionally brings up a acceptable point: You alone accept to transform those genitalia of a certificate you wish. Therefore, this transformation represents a abandonment from the anatomy of the original antecedent document.
The aboriginal affair you’ll apprehension about this XSLT appearance area is that the first band is an XML acknowledgment advertence that it’s an XML document. That means this appearance area is a admirable XML certificate that charge validate against an XSL DTD or schema. Where does it advertence the schema? In best XML documents, a DOCTYPE acknowledgment is acclimated to advertence the schema. However, in XSL, a namespace aspect in the <stylesheet> aspect refers to the schema.
A Word on Namespaces
The namespaces apparatus allows you to abnormally analyze aspect types that you create. For example, brainstorm that you accept created an XML certificate anecdotic a book chapter. You ability actualize aspect types such as <chapterTitle>, <subHead1>, <subhead2>, <chapterText>, <codeListing>, <sidebar>, <footer>, and so on. Now brainstorm that you appetite to absorb the agreeable from this certificate with a certificate taken from a training manual. That certificate ability additionally use aspect blazon names such as <chapterText> or <sidebar>, but ascertain a absolutely altered structure. Ultimately, you wind up with name collisions amid your certificate and the certificate you’re attempting to merge.
From the angle of the certificate author, a namespace is a prefix you can add to your elements that abnormally analyze them. Typically, a namespace corresponds to a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) of an organization, such as your company’s Web address, or that of a blueprint document. Because these URIs can accommodate continued aisle names, namespace declarations acquiesce you to actualize an alias that is a autograph characters for the absolutely able namespace. For example, I ability actualize a certificate that sets up the following
The xmlns allocation of the account says, “I’m creating an XML namespace.” The :myNS is another and is user defined. Back included, this sets up the alias for the best URI. The allocation afterwards the equals assurance is the absolutely able URI. So, this account creates the http://www.beyondhtml.com namespace and assigns it to the alias myNS.
The afterward shows how the namespace is used:
As you can see, prefixing elements with myNS helps to actualize a different name for the elements in this document.
In XSL, the <stylesheet> aspect requires that you set up the XSL namespace that credibility to a URI. The acknowledgment tells the XML processor that this is an XSL appearance sheet, not aloof addition XML document. The URI that the namespace credibility to varies depending on the adaptation of XSL you’re using. The accepted XSL blueprint requires befitting XSLT appearance bedding to point to http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform.
Note in Listing 2.2 that an alias, xsl, is established. Because the alias is optional, it is accidental to accommodate the xsl alias. In fact, because it is user defined, you can accept any alias name you wish. However, xsl is the de facto name acclimated by around all appearance sheet developers.
Also, because the alias is optional, it is not all-important to accommodate it at all. Omitting the alias agency you can additionally omit the xsl: that’s prefixed to all XSL aspect blazon names. This can save you some accounting and eliminate a few hundred bytes from the admeasurement of your document. However, be aware that both the antecedent certificate or your transformation may accommodate aspect type names that battle with XSL’s allotment conventions. Therefore, it is always prudent to accommodate the xsl alias in your appearance sheets.
Before the XSL became a W3C advocacy in November 1999, processors were affected to use non-standard URIs in their namespace declarations. If you run into an absurdity back application the accepted namespace, analysis the adaptation of XSL processor you are application and accede the afterward another namespaces.
XSL processors that chase the December 1998 alive abstract use the afterward namespace definition:
Interim processors (such as MSXML 1) use the following:
The November 1999 (current) blueprint requires the following:
Returning to Listing 2.2, the <stylesheet> aspect is the root element of the certificate and is accordingly the alembic for the blow of the style sheet. You will apprentice about all of the elements that <stylesheet> supports in Affiliate 4, “The XSL Transformation Language.” However, one important aspect blazon is <output>, which allows appearance sheet authors to specify how they ambition the aftereffect timberline to be output. Currently, you can specify the aftereffect timberline to be achievement as XML, HTML, or as text. Listing 2.2 instructs the processor to achievement the aftereffect timberline as HTML.
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