Software – Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL)

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The SGML/XML Web Page
XSL/XSLT Software Support
By: Robin Cover

Last modified: December 18, 1999

Contents

This document references software packages that support the W3C Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). General information on XSL/XSLT is available in the main XSL reference document. This listing is not complete, and several items are out-of-date; additionally, some packages named may not support the current W3C specifications, or may not be supported any longer. The [current] order of items in the listing is not significant, except that a few items near the top are perhaps among the more mature/popular/up-to-date. Entries flagged with creation/revision mark of ‘CR: 19990724’ were not necessarily updated/checked on this date. Software tools generally applicable to the XML family of languages are referenced in the main XML page, software section. For another listing of XSL software, see the Free XML software document maintained by Lars Marius Garshol (listing by supported platform, etc.). Please report additions and corrections to Robin Cover by email.

[CR: 19991009]

Clark’s XT is a Java implementation of XSL Transformations, viz., the W3C XSL Transformations [XSLT] Specification.

[October 09, 1999] James Clark has prepared a new release of his XT software to match the XSLT and XPath Proposed Recommendations, published by the W3C on October 08, 1999. XT « is a Java implementation of XSL Transformations (XSLT). This release of XT [Version 19991008] mostly updates existing functionality to match the XSLT Proposed Recommendation. For the resulting changes, consult the relevant appendices of the XSLT and XPath Proposed Recommendations. The only completely new functionality is the exclude-result-prefixes attribute on xsl:stylesheet. Note that you will have to update your stylesheets before you can use this release (in particular you have to update the namespace URI). To use XT, you need: (1) the XT distribution, (2) an XML parser in Java that supports SAX, such as XP; you should choose a SAX parser that provides Locator information, otherwise you won’t get any line numbers in error messages… »

[July 26, 1999] XT Version 19990725 implements the WD-xslt-19990709 version of XSLT. Stylesheets written for earlier versions of the XSLT WD must be converted before they can be used with this 1999072 version of XT.

[July 12, 1999] New Release of Clark’s XT. James Clark recently announced a new release of XT (Version 19990708) which contains bug fixes. XT is a Java implementation of XSL Transformations (viz., W3C XSL Transformations [XSLT] Specification – W3C Working Draft 21-April-1999, WD-xslt-19990421).

[May 17, 1999] James Clark recently announced the release of XT Version 19990514. XT is a Java implementation of XSL Transformations (viz.,W3C XSL Transformations [XSLT] Specification). The current version of XT implements the ‘WD-xslt-19990421’ working draft version of XSLT. The new release of XT incorporates « relatively few changes. . . a couple of bugs have been fixed, and the performance of the / and // operators has been optimized. »

[January 15, 1999] James Clark announced the release of the first beta version of XT (Version 19990115), which has seen some ‘significant testing’ in its several alpha releases. XT is a Java implementation of the tree construction part of the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL), WD-xsl-19981216 version.

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[January 04, 1999] James Clark has announced the availability of a new release of XT. The major change in Version 19990101 of XT that « XT is now SAX-based: it uses the SAX Parser class for input and the SAX DocumentHandler class for output. It thus no longer depends on XP and can be used with any XML parser in Java that supports SAX. Also new in this release is an experimental extensibility mechanism. . . XT’s new experimental extensibility mechanism is based on the idea of filtering fragments of the result tree through an object. »

[December 21, 1998] James Clark announced the availability of a new version of XT – a Java implementation of the tree construction part of XSL. This release of XT (Version 19981220) supports the new W3C Working Draft for the Extensible Stylesheet Language Version 1.0 (WD-xsl-19981216). The new version of Clark’s XT is not backwardly compatible with the previous XSL WD specification; older stylesheets will need to be updated.

[September 22, 1998] James Clark announced the availability of a new version of XT. The principal change in this version is XT’s responsiveness to an initial tag : XT « will recognize that you are generating HTML rather than XML and output the result tree accordingly. »

[August 29, 1998] James Clark has announced the availability of a new version of XT. XT is a Java-based implementation of the tree construction/transformation part of the W3C Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). XT uses Clark’s XP, a high-performance XML parser in Java. In this ‘19980829’ version of XT, more bugs are fixed and more features implemented; it is now « getting quite close to complete. » XT is still an alpha version, which has had very little testing, « intended as a tool for learning about XSL not for getting real work done. » Syntax: java com.jclark.xsl.Driver source-file stylesheet-file result-file. The package may be downloaded from James Clark’s FTP server. [local archive copy]

[August 19, 1998] See preceding. James Clark has released the alpha version of XT, a Java implementation of the tree construction/transformation half of the W3C’s new XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) Working Draft specification. James says he is releasing this software at an earlier stage than usual for his software distributions because he « wants people to have an implementation to play with as they read about the new XSL draft; [however], the release is not intended as a tool for getting real work done. » The software is accessible via http://www.jclark.com/xml/xt.html and is free even for commercial use, and includes complete sources. This XT application uses the latest version of Clark’s XP, a high-performance XML parser written in Java.

[CR: 19990724]

LotusXSL v0.17.4 supports the April 24, 1999 W3C XSLT Working Draft. This release provides several important bug fixes.

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[July 07, 1999] On July 06, 1999, IBM alphaWorks Labs released version 0.17.3 of LotusXSL. LotusXSL is an « experimental implementation of the XSLT specification from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C Working Draft). XSL provides a mechanism for formatting and transforming XML, either at the browser or on the server. It allows the developer to take the abstract data semantics of an XML instance and transform it into a presentation language such as HTML. LotusXSL implements an XSL processor in Java, and can interface to APIs that conform to the October 1 Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification. The processor can be used from the command line or from an wrapper applet, or it can be used as a submodule of other programs, and accessed via the API. LotusXSL v0.17.3 now supports the April 21 W3C XSLT Working Draft. This release of LotusXSL provides an XSLT servlet, and includes many bug fixes. »

[December 24, 1998] ‘LotusXSL – An experimental implementation of the Construction Rules section of the XSL World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Working Draft.’ The LotusXSL processor is written in Java and conforms to the construction rules features of the draft XSL specification released by the W3C [today – WD-xsl-19981216]. LotusXSL is packaged as a JavaBean for use in client or server applications, as an applet for use in Java-enabled web browsers, and as a command-line Java program. See also the announcement for several new technologies from IBM alphaworks. Note (1999-03-10): the 02/08/99 release of LotusXSL [v0.16.2] is compatible with XML4J version 1.1.14.

[CR: 19991014]

« FOP: A Formatting Object to PDF Translator. FOP is a print formatter driven by XSL formatting objects. It is a Java 1.1 application that reads a formatting object tree and then turns it into a PDF document. The formatting object tree, can be in the form of an XML document (output by an XSLT engine like XT) or can be passed in memory as a DOM Document. »

[October 14, 1999] James Tauber announced the release of FOP version 0.11.0.

Updated 1999-09-16: new release of FOP (version 0.10.0). See the posting for details.

[1999-07-30] FOP 0.9.0 ‘FOP now includes basic support for the display-rule formatting object. It can also take a color property on both text and display-rules. I’ve now implemented the wrap-option and white-space-treatment properties so it is possible to have

...

like effects…’

[July 28, 1999] A ‘microrelease of FOP’: « Lots of internal layout code changes. The actual glyph-height of a font is used and lists within lists now work. Corrected text-align(-last) properties to take « justified » rather than « justify » (thanks pault)… »

[July 19, 1999] James Tauber recently announced a new release of FOP: A Formatting Object to PDF Translator. FOP is a « print formatter driven by XSL formatting objects. It is a Java 1.1 application that reads a formatting object tree and then turns it into a PDF document. The formatting object tree, can be in the form of an XML document (output by an XSLT engine like XT) or can be passed in memory as a DOM Document. Note that FOP is still alpha. It is slow, buggy and doesn’t support much of the XSL spec. It’s getting there, though… Changes in this version are mostly bug fixes relating to lists. . . »

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[May 24, 1999] James Tauber announced the availablity of a new version of FOP: A Formatting Object to PDF Translator. FOP is a « formatter driven by XSL formatting objects. There is no functional difference from 0.6.1 as far as the XSL side of things goes. Rather, the way FOP is invoked has changed. It is now possible to: (1) pass FOP a DOM Document rather than a filename. This makes it possible to embed FOP in other applications (such as XSLT engines and web servers), and (2) use any SAX parser, not just XP as before. »

[May 04, 1999] James Tauber has announced the availability of a new release of ‘FOP – a formatter driven by XSL formatting objects. » FOP (A Formatting Object to PDF Translator) « is a Java application that reads an XML document representing formatting objects (e.g., the output of XT) and then turns it into a PDF document. This version is a complete re-write in light of the most recent XSL working draft. It only implements a fraction of the formatting objects and properties but the overall framework is now there and it should be relatively easy to add more support (assuming the XSL working draft doesn’t change too radically). FOP should still be considered alpha. » See below.

[October 05, 1998] On October 4, 1998, James Tauber reported that he is using XSL to generate documents for his XML web sites, and that he was writing an XSL flow object to PDF converter. FOP (A Formatting Object to PDF Converter) is « a Python script that, via SAX, reads an XML document representing formatting objects and then turns it into a PDF document. [There is an associated] PyPDF – A simple low-level PDF module in Python for use by FOP. It should be useful apart from FOP too. It handles the object tree and the xref table allowing you to concentrate on the commands that go in streams. In Java: 1998-10-30. On August 21, 1998, James Tauber (jtauber@JTAUBER.COM) reported to XML-DEV readers that he is working on an XSL Formatting/Flow Object to PDF converter, provisionally named ‘FOP’ (‘Formatting Object to Pdf’).

[CR: 19991015]

‘Passive TeX’ – Using TeX to format XSL Formatting Objects. « The system works in two stages: (1) apply an XSL stylesheet to the XML document and generate a new XML file containing XSL