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XSL Transformation

Colloquy uses something called XSLT (or generally just XSL) for its Styles and many people haven't been exposed to this relatively new technology yet.

Instead of trying to describe this grand technology, here are some descriptions from around the web.

"Acronym for Extensible Stylesheet Language. A language for specifying stylesheets that apply formatting to complex XML data, for presentation in HTML or other formats. The proposal for XSL was submitted to the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) in 1997. Unlike cascading style sheets (CSS), which map an XML element into a single display object, XSL can map a single XML element to more than one type of display object-for example, both an element in a list and an item in a table. Although XSL and CSS differ, they are complementary, rather than mutually exclusive formatting technologies. CSS has fewer capabilities than XSL, but CSS has been around longer than XSL and as a result has more tools and support." 1

"A specification for separating style from content when creating HTML or XML pages. The specifications work much like templates, allowing designers to apply single style documents to multiple pages. XSL is the second style specification to be offered by the World Wide Web Consortium. The first, called Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), is similar to XSL but does not include two major XSL's innovations -- allowing developers to dictate the way Web pages are printed, and specifications allowing one to transfer XML documents across different applications. W3C released the first draft of XSL in August 1998, and promotes the specifications as helpful to the Web's speed, accessibility, and maintenance." 2

A good site to learn more about XSL and a reference to all its features, check out:

For developers, Dave Pawson has a great site with lots of Q & A regarding XSL(T) development:

You can use the app TestXSLT by Marc Liyanage to debug the xsl file of your style:

Last modified 13 years ago Last modified on Sep 19, 2006 12:21:12 PM