RE: Style vs. transformation
Tony Stewart wrote: "I think this is a valid complaint about the XSL syntax: there is no syntactic distinction between literals that are intended to be output as text strings, and keywords that trigger additional processing." This is something I think I can answer because I had this confusion originally as well, but after many readings of the spec, I resolved it. There are no "literals" in the XSL syntax. If there were literals, then one could say: <foo><children/></foo>, but one CAN'T. Within XSL, you are restricted to the flow objects that the XSL processor understands. It's extremely convenient that the set of flow objects that that the MS-XSL processor implements are identical in name and function to their HTML counterparts, but don't be confused that the XSL is *necessarily* producing HTML. It could just as easily produce Postscript, PDF, or some other display medium. You cannot use flow objects that are not a) built in, or b) otherwise defined within your XSL stylesheet. The upshot of this is that the designers of an XSL processor must avoid creating any core flow objects with names that conflict with other keywords (e.g. <children/>), just the same as they must avoid giving two flow objects the same name. BTW, this lack of "literals" is a good thing because it makes XSL validatable. Rob XSL-List info and archive: http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list
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