What's the Big Deal With XSL? (Sections 7 and 8)

April 22, 1999

G. Ken Holman

7 Where to Learn More About XSL

As with so many XML-related resources, Robin Cover's pages on the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) site is a valuable resource for XSL information.

To participate in a mail list discussion of XSL issues, Mulberry Technologies is hosting where contributors can post questions, answers or opinions about anything related to XSL.

Over the last week I solicited from the list some contributions for XSL-related links for learning more about the technology. Below is what I got, sorted by URL. I haven't checked all of these sites so I cannot vouch for their authenticity, but you may wish to surf and find out. Not as many people responded as I had expected, but the few that I have seem to have a large number of links (many duplicates but the union set is quite informative). I have noticed some of the newsy articles use outdated or outright incorrect syntax examples, but the prose appears to be well intentioned.

Web Developer's Virtual Library XML Training (reference to XSL)
Web Developer's Virtual Library XSL Resources
Century Computing Inc.'s Introduction to XSL (historical context)
Crane Softwrights Ltd.'s Stylesheet Resources and XSL Training Products and Services
Guy Murphy's XSL presentation of the complete works of Shakespeare
Mulberry Technology's XSL Mail List
Robin Cover's XSL Resources
W3C First Working Draft (August 1998 - no longer applicable)
W3C Second Working Draft (December 1998 - current as of April 18, 1999)
W3C Concept Note for XSL (August 1997 - no longer applicable)
W3C Accepted Requirements
XMLephant's XML/XSL Resources Page
XSL by Example
XSL Introduction in PC Magazine

8 Conclusion

Today, your choices in rendering your XML information for consumption are quite clear. With Cascading Stylesheets you can decorate your XML document hierarchy for rich browser painting.

Today, with the Extensible Stylesheet Language you can re-organize your XML document hierarchy into a rich hierarchy for consumption and still apply the semantics of CSS styling for rich browser painting. Investments in learning at this early stage of changing specifications will hold you in good stead for the final version of the recommendation, but remember for production issues it is still a moving target until it is finalized. When it is finalized, remember to hold your vendors to the recommendation to protect yourselves and your customers and users.

Soon, with the completion of the development process, you will be able to re-organize your XML document hierarchy into a rich hierarchy for consumption and apply the semantics of XSL styling for rich rendering in a portable fashion across browser screens, hard-copy media and other rendering devices.


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Copyright (C) 1999 Crane Softwrights Ltd.