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XSLT Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for XML and XSLT Developers Paperback – 23 Dec 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (23 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003722
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,129,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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...I find myself constantly reaching for it when I have a few minutes and want to learn a new trick. -- Wayne Graham, Williamsburg Macromedia User Group, Jan 2003

Book Description

Solutions and Examples for XML and XSLT Developers --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Williams on 20 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
XSLT isn't exactly the easiest of technologies to master, but this goes a long way to helping you. Even if you still can't get your head around it, the examples are designed in such a way that you can simply steal them with minimal tweaking required. The book starts with using XSLT to perform operations that you might normally use a programming language for - string manipulation, arithmetic, date and time functions - and moves generating graphs (with SVG), processing multiple document formats, generating C++ source code and much more. For me, the most useful section was the one describing how to use XSLT to generate documentation from WSDL documents. Some of the more arcane recipes are unlikely ever to find real world use, admittedly, but it's fascinating to see how far the author can push the technology. This is definitely not another book which concentrates solely on generating HTML from XML ans is all the better for it.
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Some really useful stuff in here, but not a starter's book (at least not for me - I had to buy Michael Kay's XSLT 2.0 Programmer's Reference to understand what was going on and I've been programming for nigh on 30 years) You really need a firm grasp of XSLT to get the most out of this book. It provides some useful comparisons between XSLT 1.0 and 2.0 and does some great things with SVG.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
This is easily the weakest cookbook series book I have bought.

I'm also quite annoyed by it as despite the fact that Amazon's review and the O'Reilly web site make mention of it covering XML to PDF creation (the reason I bought it) it actually doesn't cover it at all.

If you have need for advanced XSML topics that isn't covered by the many excellent online tutorials, particularly IBM's then you are extremely unlikely to find them in this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dominici Paride on 19 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book. All the arguments are explained well and with a lot of source code that helps a lot understanding the way it works.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 36 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Good XSLT reference for non-beginners 9 Mar. 2003
By N. Tulsian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book is an excellent practical hands-on reference for
creating solutions in the XML-XSL Transformation domain.
It covers areas from simple string operations to SVG generation
to extending XSLT with Perl, JavaScript and Java.
The author Sal Mangano has good working examples with detailed
descriptions of the code. This makes experimenting with new
code relatively painless.
Being an experienced XSLT developer I found the book easy to
follow. However people new to the concept of XML transformations
would do well to get a basic understanding of the matter before
diving into building solutions using this book.
Having a copy of the XSLT Cookbook during the development
phase of the LCRA.org website project would have reduced the
time needed to craft a good sustainable solution, and reduced
the amount of code I had to redesign to be modular and flexible.
An example is the recommendation : "Prefer 'selecting' and
'matching' over 'filtering'" pg 114, para 3. This allows for
flexible XML schemas.
A companion CD with working example code and a searchable
text of the book on the CD would have been appreciated.
The website at Oreilly does have a downloadable zip file
of the examples.
All in all well worth the $40.00 price of the book,
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Great reference for XSLT solutions 25 Mar. 2003
By Michael Marr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The XSLT Cookbook offers more than one hundred code solutions to common XSLT problems. The covered topics range from string operations, handling dates and numbers to converting xml to various formats, like text, HTML or SVG.
The author also included some speciality solutions for working with Visio and Excel documents or generating XTM Topic Maps. The last chapters of the book cover some more advanced topic, like extending XSLT and testing stylesheets.
As it is a Cookbook, the beef of this book are the code examples. All examples I tested so far are of outstanding quality and work great. For the most problems you will encounter when writing stylesheets, this book offers an example. Just look it up and you are there.
The very high quality of this book and it's code examples is impressive. The author Sal Mangano sure put a lot of work and research into this book. And the expertise of Jeni Tennison, as technical reviewer, and Simon St.Laurent, as editor, sure were an important factor in achieving this quality standard.
If you are an absolute beginner, you probably should start with a more tutorial style book, but as soon as you have some basic knowledge of XSLT, this book is a great reference for XSLT solutions.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great book for people who know XSLT 10 Oct. 2003
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Some other reviews have said that this is not a book for beginners, which is true. You need to understand the mechanics of XSLT first to get the most out of the book. That's not the real value, however. This book is great because it shows you how to write XSLT well. This is a value that a simple reference will not provide.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Examples but Limited Use for Beginners 14 Mar. 2003
By James F. Cerra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Summary: Excellent Examples but Limited Use for Beginners
I'm half-way through the "XSLT Cookbook" and I must say I like this author's style. Compared to my level, Sal Mangano is a master at writing style-sheets; however, I never feel as though he is writing down to me. While most of the book is composed of cut-and-dry material, Mr. Mangano also provides just enough (but no more) interesting and slightly humorous ideas to prevent distraction.
The examples are pretty useful on their own for the programmer who is just learning the language), and they also prompted some stimulating ideas for my own projects. I especially find the chapters "Extending and Embedding XSLT" and "XML to XML" helpful (although the example in section 12.6 seems incomplete with no include statements). I would have preferred a little more details on embedding Saxon in Java, but the references provided (and the sample chapter of "Java and XSLT" from O'Reilly's web site) more than enough details to get me started.
Even though there are several highlights of the book, the solutions presented are a little hard to figure out (since, as a beginner, I don't yet read the Extensible Style sheet Language fluently) so a second book or tutorial is recommended for those who are generally unfamiliar with or unconfident using XSLT and XPath. The second edition should definitely have a **brief** reference or tutorial for 'us' beginners. In chapter two, he also mentions discussing trig functions, but Mr. Mangano only gives one sentence and no examples for their XSLT solutions. Although I can guess at their implementation (using a series that I constantly use in my Complex Analysis class), I wish the author would still have included such an example.

Despite these flaws, I highly recommend Sal Mangano's manuscript as an addition for anyone who is learning XSLT or just wants a quick solution to a common problem.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Lots of "R&D" material here... 16 Jan. 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
[Review of 2nd edition]

One of my favorite development methodologies is "R&D"... "Rob & Duplicate". And an important source of inspiration is often the O'Reilly Cookbook series. For XSLT, you now have an up-to-date wealth of samples to pull from... XSLT Cookbook (2nd Edition) by Sal Mangano.

Contents: XPath; Strings; Numbers and Math; Dates and Times; Selecting and Traversing; Exploiting XSLT 2.0; XML to Text; XML to XML; Querying XML; XML to HTML; XML to SVG; Code Generation; Vertical XSLT Application Recipes; Extending and Embedding XSLT; Testing and Debugging; Generic and Functional Programming; Index

If you've never seen an O'Reilly Cookbook, the concept is pretty simple. Each "recipe" consists of a problem description, a solution, and a discussion of how the solution addresses the issues, along with any observations that can shed light on the situation. These recipes are then grouped together by general problem types so that you can easily find an area that might offer up a quick answer to your particular problem. In this book, Mangano expands upon the 1st edition that covered XSLT 1.0. The 2nd edition now covers the updated XSLT 2.0 standard, and offers up both 1.0 and 2.0 solutions and discussions to many of the problems. As such, you will find value in the material regardless of your particular version usage. So for instance, let's say I have an XML file that needs to be reformatted into a second file to meet some formatting requirement. By checking into the XML to XML file, I'll find solutions on turning attributes into elements, elements to attributes, renaming elements and attributes, and so on. Tutorial books will teach you the syntax for doing stuff like this, but they can't anticipate real-world solutions. Cookbooks assume you already know what you're doing, and they go right to solutions.

Personally, I find a number of uses for books like this. There's the obvious, which is to find an exact (or nearly so) answer to your particular problem. But stepping away from the "immediate" need, there's always the opportunity to read through the recipes and see how others might code a solution. You can learn new coding techniques that way, as well as see features of the language that perhaps you never noticed before. Sort of like having a guru sitting next to you at work...

Assuming you're past the point of beginner, the XSLT Cookbook is probably the second XSLT book that you want to have on your bookshelf. If it helps you solve a couple of problems and save a handful of hours in the process, it'll more than pay for itself...
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