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how to output elements in random order?

Subject: how to output elements in random order?
From: Massimo Santini - mailing list address <mm14ss@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 22:18:51 +0100 (CET)
list in random order
Is there a standard (clean) way to process (output) elements in random
order, possibliy specifiyng a "seed" as a parameter to the stylesheet?

It's not just a speculation. One motivation, for example, is that I'm
tryng to use XSLT to produce randomly premuted multiple choice tests for
grading students. Given a set of questions each one with a various number
of possible answers, I wuold like to output questions in random order and
answers within a quastion in random order too.

Now I'm basically using something like

 	<xsl:for-each select="question">
 		<xsl:sort select="ext:rnd()"/>

where ext:rnd() is an extension function returing a random integer. It
works with Xalan, but I know it is an ugly ugly hack...

Is there any clean way to do such a thing (note that STFW seems to lead
no useful result)?

Thank you for any suggestion...


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