eXtensible Markup Language (XML) documents contain all the information
necessary to define and understand the data contained within the
document. Although the data in XML documents can be read
by human eyes, it’s typically not easily understood. eXtensible
Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) allows the data in XML
documents to be formatted in a manner that is much easier for humans
Simply put, the basic function of an XSLT document is to transform
an XML document (or documents) into a new file (or files) in another
format – plain text, HTML, or other XML documents. The
XSLT document author can choose specific data fields to format,
use different methods to sort the data, use conditional statements
to format data, and merge/relate the data in multiple XML source
documents. XSLT documents, like XML itself, are flexible
and scalable. The basic XML document transformation process
is illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Basic XML document transformation process.
As of January 16, 2007, XSLT 1.0 was the official W3C Recommendation.
Sample XSLT stylesheets for data contained in the Forecasts in
XML (FoX), Observations in XML (ObX), and Temperature Extremes
in XML (TEX) are available at the following links:
The stylesheets at the above links were written using XSLT 1.0. More
information about XSLT may be found at the W3C