Generating Temporary IDs for Nodes

The generate-id() function, defined in the XSLT recommendation, generates temporary IDs for nodes.



The ID generated by the generate-id() function is not an object ID. The value generated by the generate-id() function is guaranteed to be the same only during an XSL transformation. If the source document changes, the value for this ID can change.


The format for the generate-id() function is as follows:

string generate-id(node-set?)


The generate-id() function returns a string that uniquely identifies the node in node-set that is first in document order. This string starts with xln and ends with eight hexadecimal digits. Syntactically, the string is an XML name.

If the node-set argument is empty, the generate-id() function returns an empty string. If you omit the node-set argument, the generate-id() function generates a temporary ID for the context node.

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