Talk:XSL

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Adoptation and widespread use?[edit]

We've ran into a discussion at my workplace on how widely used XSL really is. As far as I understand, it's not really caught on, and is considered to have severe limitations such as lack of grouping and a difficult syntax.

I find it a neat "language" that can achieve many things really quick, but I'd like to see someone comment in this article about how widely used XSL is, and what criticism towards it are. I'd have written it myself had I known (:

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Knutsi (talkcontribs) 07:09, 24 April, 2007


I used XSL almost exclusively for more than 3 years (they made me do it!). I wrote web applications and batch processes and web services with it. It is a great tool for formatting XML into HTML or text, especially when you can't use JSP. I imagine it's good for making PDFs with XSL:FO, but I never did that.

It's very easy to write a simple XSL template, almost anyone can do it. But it is definitely NOT a general purpose tool. It's data driven which means it uses Inversion of Control by default and lets your procedures return control to the data at any time by calling <xsl:apply-templates />. I've successfully debugged >10K lines of undocumented assembly code in a 2D graphics device driver with variables named A, B, C.... But that was easy to understand compared with a mere 400 line data-driven XSL template.

Why? Data-driven code is totally dependent on the variability of the data that comes into it. Unless you have a way to examine and categorize all the data quirks that can *possibly* find their way into your program, you cannot predict the possible outcomes. The code is non-deterministic.

This can be fun. But don't write batch scripts or anything that needs to be secure in XSL. Use it for what it was intended: transforming XML into HTML, text, or PDF.

GlenPeterson 21:51, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

"Special meaning" at Microsoft--obsolete by now?[edit]

The article says that "Within Microsoft, the term XSL is sometimes used to refer to a Microsoft variant of XSLT developed as an implementation of an early (1998) W3C draft of the XSLT language, with Microsoft-specific extensions and omissions. Other commentators generally refer to this dialect as WD-xsl. The dialect was later superseded by a conformant implementation of the W3C specification."

That implementation was provisional, and was superseded long ago. I haven't seen any fresh references to it since then. So I'd question whether this item needs to be in the article any more, especially up near the top. It seems to be a very minor "footnotish" historical sort of point at best. If there's no serious objection here, I'll delete the paragraph in a week or so, unless someone beats me to it. DSatz (talk) 17:29, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

It was not deleted but nobody has objected it. I am leaving the comment to the old meaning but removing the section whose information is already at MSXML. Arauzo (talk) 11:39, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Why is XSL separate from XSLT?[edit]

I don't differentiate the two in my head or my speech. The XSLT article seems much more complete than the XSL one. Maybe XSL should be merged into XSLT? The talk on the XSLT page was asking for comparisons to Lisp and Scheme which I just added to this XSL page before I found the XSLT page. Maybe XSL should redirect to XSLT instead for those of us too lazy to type the last letter. --GlenPeterson (talk) 04:05, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

XSL is a more general term that encompasses both XSLT and XSL-FO. So, I don't think it's just about not typing the last letter.--76.212.64.247 (talk) 07:35, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Technically, XSL is XSL-FO. If you look at the W3C Spec for XSL-FO, it's just called Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL). So if XSL should be merged into anything it should be that article. Personally I don't think either should be. --76.212.65.23 (talk) 02:07, 2 May 2008 (UTC)


This suggestion would not improve Wikipedia. As said in the opening, XSL is a family of languages. XSLT is just one member of the family. Merging XSL into XSLT would be incorrect as XSL is not XSLT; rather XSLT is a subset of XSL.
I am removing the merge tag.
Novasource (talk) 16:19, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
By the way, XSL is NOT the same as XSL-FO. XSL-FO is just another language that is a member of the XSL family of technologies. Novasource (talk) 23:14, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:XSL which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 18:16, 24 April 2011 (UTC)