Dimitre Novatchev:

It's amazing what people can invent in order to justify their unwillingness to part with ignorance.

Many of the good books do not cost more than one would spent at a supermarket. There are also libraries...

In studying any discipline there are books, which are a must to read. Without having read them one simply cannot communicate with the specialists, he will not be understood and he will not understand them.

"It would be a waste of time for you to ask and for anybody to answer your questions, before you've read at least one of the following books/sources:

1. Books on XSLT
2. XSL-FO book
3. XSL-FO book
4. Jeni T's books
5. XSLT Cookbook (O'Reilly)
6. XSLT Programmers Reference, Second edition.
7. Building Oracle XML Applications.
8. Are there any other XSLT Resources?


Books on XSLT

Mike Kay

Is there a Reference book on XSL?

My book, XSLT Programmer's Reference, (was) published by Wrox Press, is now available. This is completely dedicated to XSLT and XPath. 2nd Edition latest, but Wrox have gone bust.

Details on Amazon(just search for "XSLT") or

I very much hope this book will provide a much-needed resource for the XSLT community (and in future I will be responding to questions on this list by quoting the page number!). It's mainly about the standards (XSLT 1.0 and XPath 1.0) but also has sections on most of the XSLT processors available, including MSXML3.

I'd like to express my thanks to the members of this list who not only taught me most of what I know about XSLT but also taught me all the questions that need to be answered!

Paul Tchistopolskii adds:

I had a chance to look at some chapters of this book and I would like to say that I think this book is *must have* for anyone who is thinking about writing the XSLT stylesheets.

Comment:Not only it is very well written and provides the answers to most of the questions hanging around this list, but it is also *very* good companion to XSLT WD because Michael's examples are *very* tasty and not overlap with the examples from XSLT WD. And there is plenty of reasonable examples there. Also Michael makes almost perfect generalizations, he spent significant time for observing 'all existing' XSLT engines. E t.c.

I would say that this book is one of the best references I ever saw in my life and I'l for sure bye a print copy for myself, even I 'already read it'.

Considering usefulness, style and ease of use, it is already one of my favorite technical books EVER.

If you have the book and use it, you will probably feel no need to ask most questions that could be answered by page number since the book is so well/clearly organized.

Having bought Mike's XSLT Programmer's reference, it's one of the very few examples of a technical text that's actually as useful as the title suggests! I love the dictionary format for the function reference too - well done Mike! It's absolutely indispensable.


XSL-FO book

Dave Pawson

The Fox book, XSL-FO, from O'Reilly is now in print (August 2002) My book on XSL-FO, the W3C recommendation for the production of print output from XML, is now available from O'Reilly's web site. It should have a fox on the front.. FO XSL? No, OK. It hasn't. It has instead, Macrodypterix Vexillarius, about which you may draw your own conclusions! Read and enjoy, DaveP.


XSL-FO book

Ken Holman

By now (April 2003)my "Definitive XSL-FO" book should be available on local bookstore shelves:

Definitive XSL-FO First Edition - 2003-04-04 - ISBN 0-13-140374-5 Copyright (c) 2003 Crane Softwrights Ltd. Prentice Hall PTR - 454 pages

This is a paper renditions of my electronically published XSL book, produced from the same sources and using different stylesheets for the electronic rendition.


Jeni T's books

Jim Fuller

just received Jeni Tennisons new book from amazon;. XSLT and XPATH On the Edge, M&T books,

my first impressions are

a) this book sits right next to Michael Kay's book, as it is a great reference to when u have specific problems i.e. ' How do i format dates ? ' and ' How do i group ' and 'How do i use keys'.

b) the level of examples and techniques is a step above introductory.

c) the latter half of the book delves into framework issues; modular components, extending XSLT, functional modules, and

grouping, sorting, numeric manipulation, string and text manipulation, general formatting, character encoding and entities, the above subjects are all detailed in a concise manner, perfect for reference

the following subjects are an in depth read;

framework: quite a large amount of discussion of how to break apart into reusable elements

client side msxml: this will get the novice going

server side processing with cocoon: this will get the novice going

overview of XPATH: very detailed overview of more medium level techniques

using extensions : the clearest illustration and techniques of extending xslt that I've read

Overall I can highly recommend it.


XSLT Cookbook (O'Reilly)

Sal Mangano

I am happy to announce the availability first edition of my first book, "XSLT Cookbook" (O'Reilly publisher).

The book contains many recipes covering a wide variety of XSLT applications including HTML, SVG, Code Generation, Text Generation, Date and Time Manipulation, Topic Maps, MS Excel and Visio XML processing, XSLT Extensions, and general XSLT techniques.

Several of the recipes were motivated by posts I read here and several posters contributed material to the book (Thanks again).   See O'reilly website


XSLT Programmers Reference, Second edition.

Mike Kay.

I've had many requests asking what will be new in XSLT Programmer's Reference 2nd edition, which will be available (from Wrox Press) in the next few weeks. So I hope I can be allowed an announcement.

The new content falls into three categories:

- expanded and updated information on XSLT products, especially MSXML3, Oracle, Saxon, Xalan, but also including summary information on a dozen or so other products.

- information about the XSLT 1.1 working draft. Initially the book was planned on the asumption that XSLT 1.1 would be finalized before the book was; it became clear during the writing that this wouldn't be the case, but because nearly all the features in the XSLT 1.1 draft are based on features that exist in current products, I decided that it was still worthwhile to include this information, while flagging it clearly as being still subject to change.

- extra examples and explanations, particularly in areas that have become FAQs on this list and elsewhere. For example, there's a lot more on grouping techniques.

I hope also that the index will be greatly improved: this has been perhaps the biggest criticism of the first edition.

DaveP: As other books have come out, none has surpassed Mikes for completeness, as judged by the comments on the xslt list. The only negative comments about it has been the index, so I've made a modest start on a more complete on. Because of its coverage, its no surprise that the index falls a little short.

People also ask me, if they already own a copy of the first edition, whether it's worth their while replacing it with the second. The answer, of course, has to be yes.


Building Oracle XML Applications.

Steve Muench

October 2000 Building Oracle XML Applications" (O'Reilly)

The new book "Building Oracle XML Applications" from O'Reilly is now available (ISBN: 1565926919). A complete overview of its contents is at as well as a complete sample chapter, "Transforming XML Using XSLT".

The book assumes you know a little SQL and either Java or PL/SQL, but does not assume you know anything about XML, XSLT, or XPath and includes solid, pragmatic introductions. Besides the core introduction to XSLT in Chapter 7 and the "XSLT Beyond the Basics" in Chapter 9, the book abounds with examples of using XSLT and database-driven XML content in 10 of the 17 chapters. The book ships with a free developer's copy of the Oracle JDeveloper 3.1 Java IDE (for Win NT/2000) for more easily working through all of the examples.

The book's examples and explanations teach you...

  1. What the XML, XSLT, and XPath standards are for, how they relate, and how to apply them to Oracle database-driven XML for the Web.

  2. How to produce XML of any desired structure from database data and how to store XML of any structure into normalized database tables for further processing.

  3. How to use Oracle's built-in "XSQL Pages" server templates to combine SQL, XML, and XSLT to publish information in any XML, HTML, or Text-based format for offline or Web delivery.

  4. How to use Java and PL/SQL to programmatically create, transform, search, process, enqueue, dequeue, post, and retrieve XML, both from inside and outside the database by exploiting the Oracle XDK components.

  5. How to search over millions of XML documents or document fragments stored in the database using Oracle's "interMedia" XML-savvy document searching facilities

Advanced topics include:

  1. Using XSLT keys like database functional indexes to improve XSLT transformation performance.

  2. Using XSLT in combination with JTidy to dynamically aggregate data from existing HTML-based web services

  3. Building an XMLLoader utility to insert XML files of arbitrary size into any number of database tables.

  4. Building stylesheets that create stylesheets, and using stylesheets to generate colorful SVG charts from database data.

  5. Writing and debugging XSLT extension functions and XSQL action handlers in Java.

  6. Building a database-driven portal site with per-user customization and building a completely XSLT-driven online discussion forum application.


Are there any other XSLT Resources?

G Ken Holman

Announce: Ninth Edition of XSLT/XPath Tutorial Materials

Announce: Ninth Edition of XSLT/XPath Tutorial Materials

   Practical Transformation Using XSLT and XPath
   (XSL Transformations and the XML Path Language)
   Ninth Edition - 2001-01-19 - ISBN 1-894049-06-3
   Copyright (c) 2001 Crane Softwrights Ltd.
   / 375 Pages / Subscription price includes free updates
   /           / and separate copy of all example files.
   /           / Free 137-page download preview excerpt.

This revised Ninth Edition again contains all constructs of the W3C Recommendations for XSLT 1.0 and XPath 1.0 with additional text, examples, and new content based on feedback and requests for additions from existing customers. It has been just over six months since the last edition.

The free download preview excerpt (in both A4 and US-letter page sizes) has also been updated to reflect the content of the Ninth Edition. If you have downloaded the earlier free preview excerpt, you may wish to pick up a new copy.

We chose to wait for the finalized XSLT 1.1 before changing the body of the material, though we did summarize the anticipated changes based on the working draft in a new temporary module that will disappear in the next edition.

As with our other editions of this XSLT training material, the purchase of any edition of this publication entitles the customer to all future editions of the same material at no charge. Future editions will continue to track changes in these Recommendations, therefore, your one purchase (there are no continual fees) will always be up-to-date with these W3C technologies. Also, you can influence how the material evolves by asking us to consider changes you'd like to see.

Information can be obtained from the link below to the "Book Sales" section the Crane web site (also the location of the free download preview excerpt).

We hope you find this useful and we look forward to your feedback.

Information can be obtained from Kens website, go to the "Commercial Training Materials" section (also the location of the free download preview excerpt).