XSLT transformations: "more than meets the eye" [Sun, 09 Aug 2009 23:38:15 +0000]
A few months ago, my department head had encouraged us to learn about XML stylesheets and XSLT transformations [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XSL_Transformations]. After picking at it here and there, I finally had my breakthrough with it this weekend. Of course, were I more patient, I could have gotten paid to do this at work tomorrow. As usual, the majority of the work is in finding examples and explanations that speak to me. This thread [http://www.biglist.com/lists/xsl-list/archives/200208/msg00525.html] was particularly helpful. One of the biggest breakthroughs - as embarrassing as it is to admit - was my realization that one needed an XSLT processor to actually create a new XML document based on the instructions provided in the stylesheet. I've been experimenting with both the Saxon [http://saxon.sourceforge.net/] and Microsoft [http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=2FB55371-C94E-4373-B0E9-DB4816552E41&displaylang=en] processors. Rather than run them from the Windows command prompt, I've been using the command line interface in the jEdit text editor [http://www.jedit.org/]. There's a built in XSLT processor plug-in with jEdit, but I couldn't get it to work, hence the use of the aforementioned methods. If I understand correctly, one of the uses of this will be to take XML data about audio files generated from the JSTOR/Harvard Object Validation Environment [http://hul.harvard.edu/jhove/] (JHOVE) and map the pertinent information to another schema/XML document. That's a bit out of my league right now, but a modest start is yet a start. I'll also be interested in using transformations to make customized XML documents from MusicXML [http://www.recordare.com/xml.html] sources and Zotero [http://www.zotero.org/] exports. Admittedly, I have no real ideas as to what I'd need to do this for, but I simply have a hankering to think of related projects. Maybe pulling the lyrics out of a MusicXML document into a TEI verse [http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/VE.html] document?