When XSLT gets (more) extensible
21:46, 5 Apr 2001 UTC | Eric van der Vlist

Jeni Tennison has announced EXSLT, "an open community initiative to standardise and document extensions to XSLT" led by herself, Jim Fuller, Uche Ogbuji and Dave Pawson; it takes its roots in the controversial discussion about the XSLT 1.1 xsl:script element.

Tennison posted the first draft of a document describing EXSLT on the XSL-LIST following discussions, fueled by the controversy about the XSLT 1.1 xsl:script element, about best practices for user-defined extensions.

EXSLT now has a domain name (exslt.org) and its own web site to host the first version of its first four modules (common, math, sets and functions).

This "open community initiative" is an attempt to keep some level of portability to stylesheets using its extensions:

One aim of EXSLT is to get the implementers of XSLT processors to standardise the functions that they make available, so that your stylesheets can be more portable.  

To achieve this goal, EXSLT intends to play on all of the chords it can reach and its "how to" describes best practices to maximize the portability through fallback mechanisms and four different ways to implement extensions:

  • Extension functions using EXSL based namespaces.
  • Extension functions using the XSLT 1.1 xsl:script element.
  • Extension elements.
  • Named templates.

All contributions are welcome:

Anyone can contribute to EXSLT. You can submit your suggestions for extensions, your own implementations and test cases or examples (see http://www.exslt.org/submissions).

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