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Monday, March 06, 2006


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What a great demonstration of the power of XSLT. I think Les has some of the best technical ideas around.

Welcome to this world! A couple of years ago I wrote a half-assed application to create small websites. It was very similar in concept to FogCreek's CityDesk, but I wrote it a couple of months before. Anyways, it uses XSLT; my homepage (in spanish, sorry) uses it to magically generate a calendar. I even wrote a how-to (in spanish again, sorry): http://tech.epublish.cl/articles/epublish_20020917203416.html

Ouch, this was back in 2002. Heh. Obviously, my app went the way of the dodo, but I still use it to update my weblog. I wrote it in Delphi, by the way :-)

Yeah...XSLT sucks to learn especially if you're doing complicated transformations.

One good source I use frequently is:

Nick, it was from hacking at the Newspaper XSL transformations in FeedDemon that I was introduced to XSLT. I've learned a lot just by looking at your XSL stylesheets.

Anne: Modesty compels me to point out that that use of XSLT with OPML wasn't created by me. :)

Nick: You know, FeedDemon is one of the few apps that makes me sometimes wish I used Windows more often.

Very cool, Nick. Do you have any recommended books/resources on XSLT?

This is a topic that I'm just starting to investigate, and I have a beginner's question.

What is the actual process of invoking an xslt to say an opml file? Do you link to the xsl from within the opml file?

I've found some sample transform stylesheets, and have an opml file...but am missing the 'connection' point...thanks


Dan: that's great that FeedDemon's newspapers helped you learn XSL!

Brian: O'Reilly's "Learning XSLT" is probably a good book to start with. I recommend coming up with a non-trivial task you want to perform with XSL and then simply doing it. Even if it's hard and takes a while, you'll learn a lot in the process.

Mark: Do a "view source" on the subscriptions-t.xml file linked above - you'll see that it contains an ?xml-stylehseet instruction near the top which links the XSL.

The latest version of Dreamweaver does non-complex XML transformations. Good enough for many RSS and OPML. There is a steep price to get Dreamweaver, but if you own it, you can learn XSLT that way.

Nick -- looks as if Apple has applied for a patent for some stuff that's already part of Feeddemon -- you should have your legal people take a look.
(link from Dave Winer's weblog)



The nice thing about XSLT is that it is easier for us as users to customize our experience by adjusting the code as desired to apply our own favorite color schemes, etc...

No complaints here!


I'm trying to get this to work...and I just clipped out the part of Nick's file that referenced the transform, and changed the url...but I get the following error:

Invalid syntax for an xml declaration. Error processing resource 'http://bubbacon.com/xsl/ctapi.xml'. Line 2, Position 1

Mark, the problem is that ctapi.xml's XML declaration isn't closed.

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