From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 19:05:41 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Learning XSLT

   by Michael Fitzgerald

    18 November, 2003


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Editorial description(s):

From Book News, Inc.
Introduces some basic XSLT terminology and the process of transforming documents with XSLT processors on the command line, in a browser, and in a graphical application. The guide explains the seven basic XPath node types, the use of variables and parameters, template priority, how to display formatted numbers in a result tree, conditional processing, embedded stylesheets, and some extensions.Copyright © 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Book Description
Learning XSLT moves smoothly from the simple to complex, illustrating all aspects of XSLT 1.0 through step-by-step examples that you'll practice as you work through the book. Thorough in its coverage of the language, the book makes few assumptions about what you may already know. You'll learn about XSLT's template-based syntax, how XSLT templates work with each other, and gain an understanding of XSLT variables. Learning XSLT also explains how the XML Path Language (XPath) is used by XSLT and provides a glimpse of what the future holds for XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0. The ability to transform one XML vocabulary to another is fundamental to exploiting the power of XML. Learning XSLT is a carefully paced, example-rich introduction to XSLT that will have you understanding and using XSLT on your own in no time.

Reader review(s):

Provides a solid introduction to XSLT, December 20, 2003
While XSLT isn't a complex language, its declarative and template-based nature can make harder than expected to learn it, especially for people used to procedural languages. That's why a book like this, which provides a solid introduction to XSLT, may be more valuable than you would expect. The author manages to assemble an entry-level book without writing another useless "for dummies" guide. Fitzgerald filled the book with a huge amount of practical examples; you get plenty of code listings that often build on top of each other; incrementing the complexity along the way (an effective choice). In my opinion the writing style isn't always crystal clear and the author often introduce topics too early, briefly mentioning things that get a full explanation only a few chapters later. Notwithstanding this shortcoming, I think it's an excellent book that can really help getting started with XSLT. I would suggest to read it in a linear fashion, from beginning to the end in order to get the best out of it.

Somewhat Disappointing, February 10, 2004
I'm a software documentation specialist and Java programmer who needed a text that would enable me to read a few chapters, get the gist, and start applying XSLT at work, looking up details as I go. I think Mr. Fitzgerald had another audience in mind when he wrote this book.

Discussions of big-picture concepts like how templates work and XPath in the early chapters of the book were not, in my opinion, adequately expansive and often digressed into what I consider peripheral detail. Information about templates that I consider key to understanding how a stylesheet works was not addressed until Chapter 10. And I had to lean heavily on the W3C's XPath Recommendation because I could not find important details about XPath in the single-chapter coverage the author provides.

This book offers virtually no practical advice on how to approach transformation of complex, real-world markup. The examples are short, contrived, and generally uninformative, beyond providing basic syntax.

I purchased this book because my employer offers discounts on O'Reilly books, and of the XSLT titles O'Reilly offers, this one seemed closest to my needs. Probably should have looked harder.

Solid material for the beginning XSLT coder..., March 28, 2004
Target Audience
Developers who are looking for an entry level text to learn XSLT and XPath.

This is a tutorial guide for teaching yourself the fundamentals of Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations, or XSLT.

The book contains the following chapters: Preface; Transforming Documents with XSLT; Building New Documents with XSLT; Controlling Output; Traversing the Tree; XPath and XSLT Functions; Copying Nodes; Using Variables and Parameters; Sorting Things Out; Numbering Lists; Templates; Using Keys; Conditional Processing; Working with Multiple Documents; Alternative Stylesheets; Extensions; XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0; Writing an XSLT Processor Interface; Parting Words; Appendix: XSLT Processors; Glossary; Index

While XML is becoming the de facto standard for data exchange between programs and platforms, it does nothing to allow the reader to see the data in a useful, formatted output. And, since XML is not concerned about presentation of data, that's proper. What you need is some way to turn that data into readable output based on the reader's needs. To do that, you use XSLT. That's where this book comes into play.

Michael Fitzgerald has written a concise, easy-to-follow book that will allow you to start working with the XSLT language. Since this book is not combined with every other XML technology known to man, you will not get lost in a morass of acronyms or concepts that would quickly confuse the beginner. The focus is just XSLT, and the assumption is that you are approaching the language for the first time. There are a number of examples that give you hands-on experience during the learning process, and most of the examples also show a screen print of the browser output so that you know if you were successful with your coding. The code can also be downloaded from the book's website, so if you just want to skip to the output, you can do that.

The author doesn't try to write for both the beginner and the expert. Since the focus is on the beginning XSLT coder, the person with an existing base of XSLT experience may not find this book of much use. I don't say that as a gripe against the book, rather as a way to manage your expectations. It's better than a "For Dummies" title, but it's not an exhaustive guide to all that is XSLT. If you fall into the target audience, you should gain a lot from this title.

Learning XSLT is a very good choice to start your foray into the world of XML transformations. You should come away with the basic information you need to be effective and continue to expand your experience.

Good Introduction, April 25, 2004
Learning XSLT provides a comprehensive introduction to XSLT. This is a very good entry-level book on XSLT. This book provides a entry level approach without being too "entry level." The author focuses on providing examples for each concept demonstrated and builds on those examples in subsequent chapters. The author explains the template-based approach of XSLT and how it is different from typical programming or scripting languages.

In addition, the book covers XSLT functions. The functions are explained fully and examples are well written. After each example, the book discusses the implications of the example and the output that results from the transformation. The author points out where the chapter in the book relations to the section of the XSLT specification, if the reader wanted to find the actual specification. All the chapters are easy to follow and understand because the author's writing style is very fluid and clear. The upcoming XSLT 2.0 specifications are also highlighted throughout the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone new to XSLT. It's a good book for learning XSLT in clear terms and at an easy pace. You won't be let down if you take the time to read it carefully, try out the different features of XSLT, and think about the XSLT concepts presented.

A good beginning book, April 10, 2004
Recently I need to become a little more than a beginner for XSLT. The word of XSLT is very wide and can be seen as simple as a formatting tool or as deep and complicated as calling java object from your tranformation.
If you are already an expert on XSLT this is not your book, but if you need a start that doesn't require that you already know the topic, this is a perfect book to start with.
Max Pellizzaro.

Not the Most Interesting, But Definitely a Good Start, December 15, 2004
Based on it's cost, this book is definitely worth every penny. If you are interested in coding in XSLT, this is the only book you will probably need for a while. Of course, I'm assuming that you have a decent background in Java which supports XSLT translations. Once you've mastered the concepts in this text, you will be ready for one of the larger reference manuals. Of course, XSLT reference ( from wrox for example )are pretty much only necessary for those who are looking to become XSLT gurus. This book is very informative and helpful but a bit dull, but then again so are a lot of other O'Reilly titles. Then again, if you're looking for excitement, read a book on skydiving or something.

Poor Introduction to XSLT, October 6, 2004
I know O'Reilly books are supposed to be more advanced than other offerings, but the O'Reilly "sub-series" Learning XYZ generally tends to take it a bit easier on beginners. This book really fails to be tutorial in nature and digresses into deeper subjects rather quickly. Not recommeded for beginners, so don't be fooled by the title inference.

Waste of Money, February 8, 2004
Everthing you find in this book is available online. Examples are so simple(to be fair, the author did state he will use simple example in the book)that it doesn't really increase your understanding.

Afterward I got Michael Kay's book on XSLT by WROK, it soo much better.

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