It started with XSL and ended up with XSLT, XPath, and
It Started with XSL
XSL stands for EXtensible Stylesheet Language.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) started to develop XSL because there was
a need for an XML-based Stylesheet Language.
CSS = HTML Style Sheets
HTML uses predefined tags and the meaning of the tags are well
The <table> element in HTML defines a table - and a
browser knows how to display it.
Adding styles to HTML elements is simple. Telling a browser to display an
element in a special font or color, is easy with CSS.
XSL = XML Style Sheets
XML does not use predefined tags (we can use any tag-names we like), and the
meaning of these tags are not well understood.
A <table> element could mean an HTML table, a piece of furniture, or
something else - and a browser does not know how to display it.
XSL describes how the XML document should be displayed!
XSL - More Than a Style Sheet Language
XSL consists of three parts:
- XSLT - a language for transforming XML documents
- XPath - a language for navigating in XML documents
- XSL-FO - a language for formatting XML documents