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XSLT with Eclipse. This articles explains how to do a XSLT transformations on the command line or via the Eclipse XSL project.

1. XSLT

XSLT allows converting XML into other formats. XSLT stands for Extensible Stylesheet Language for Transformations. You typically run XLST from the command line but there is also tooling available for graphical tools, like the Eclipse IDE.

For an introduction to XML please see Java and XML Tutorial.

2. XSLT installation under Linux

Under Linux the xsltproc command line tool is available. If it is missing in your installation, you can install it via the following command under Ubuntu.

sudo apt-get install xsltproc

3. Your first transformation - copy

We start first with the simplest transformation possible; no transformation at all. Create a new directory called com.vogella.xslt.first. Create a folder files.

Create the following XML file source.xml in the files folder.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
        <!-- This is a comment -->
<people>
        <address type="personal">
                <name>Lars </name>
                <street> Test </street>
                <telephon number="0123" />
        </address>
        <address type="personal">
                <name>Joe </name>
                <street> Test2 </street>
                <telephon number="1234" />
        </address>
        <address type="business">
                <name>Jim</name>
                <street> Test3 </street>
                <telephon number="2345" />
        </address>
</people>

Create the following transform.xsl file in the files folder.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"
        version="1.0">

        <xsl:output method="xml" />

        <xsl:template match="node()">
                <xsl:copy>
                        <xsl:copy-of select="@*" />
                        <xsl:apply-templates />
                </xsl:copy>
        </xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>

To run the transformation, use the following command on the command line.

xsltproc --output result.xml files/transform.xsl files/sources.xml

Review the generated result.xml file. It should be a copy of the input file.

4. Your first transformation

We want to do a real transformation. Create the following transform2.xsl and run it with the same input file.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"
        version="1.0">

        <xsl:output method="xml" />

        <!-- Copy everything -->
        <xsl:template match="node()">
                <xsl:copy>
                        <xsl:copy-of select="@*" />
                        <xsl:apply-templates />
                </xsl:copy>
        </xsl:template>

        <!-- Do some adjustments for the address -->
        <xsl:template match="address">
                <xsl:element name="place-where-person-live">
                        <xsl:apply-templates />
                </xsl:element>
        </xsl:template>

        <!-- Put the name in a <hubba> tag -->
        <xsl:template match="name">
                <xsl:element name="name">
                        <hubba>
                                <xsl:apply-templates />
                        </hubba>
                </xsl:element>
        </xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>

The result should look like the following.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><people>
        <place-where-person-live>
                <name><hubba>Lars </hubba></name>
                <street> Test </street>
                <telephon number="0123"/>
        </place-where-person-live>
        <place-where-person-live>
                <name><hubba>Joe </hubba></name>
                <street> Test2 </street>
                <telephon number="1234"/>
        </place-where-person-live>
        <place-where-person-live>
                <name><hubba>Jim</hubba></name>
                <street> Test3 </street>
                <telephon number="2345"/>
        </place-where-person-live>
</people>

5. Using Eclipse

5.1. Eclipse XSLT installation

The Eclipse XSL Project allows to edit XSLT files and perform interactive XSL transformations in Eclipse.

In case you want to use Eclipse to perform your transformation you can install the Eclipse XSL Developer plugin via the Eclipse update manager.

5.2. XSLT transformations with Eclipse

This chapter explains how to use the Eclipse tooling to do your XLS transformation. We again use the simplest transformation of just copying the data. Create a new project of type General in Eclipse called de.vogella.xslt.first. Create a folder files.

Create the following XML file source.xml in the folder files.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
        <!-- This is a comment -->
<people>
        <address type="personal">
                <name>Lars </name>
                <street> Test </street>
                <telephon number="0123" />
        </address>
        <address type="personal">
                <name>Joe </name>
                <street> Test2 </street>
                <telephon number="1234" />
        </address>
        <address type="business">
                <name>Jim</name>
                <street> Test3 </street>
                <telephon number="2345" />
        </address>
</people>

Create the following transform.xsl file in the files folder.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform"
        version="1.0">

        <xsl:output method="xml" />

        <xsl:template match="node()">
                <xsl:copy>
                        <xsl:copy-of select="@*" />
                        <xsl:apply-templates />
                </xsl:copy>
        </xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>

Select your xsl file and run it as XSL application.

first10

Select Open Files…​ and select source.xml. Press OK to run it.

first20

Review the result source.out.xml

6. About this website

7. Links and Literature

7.1. vogella GmbH training and consulting support

TRAINING SERVICE & SUPPORT

The vogella company provides comprehensive training and education services from experts in the areas of Eclipse RCP, Android, Git, Java, Gradle and Spring. We offer both public and inhouse training. Whichever course you decide to take, you are guaranteed to experience what many before you refer to as “The best IT class I have ever attended”.

The vogella company offers expert consulting services, development support and coaching. Our customers range from Fortune 100 corporations to individual developers.

Copyright © 2012-2016 vogella GmbH. Free use of the software examples is granted under the terms of the EPL License. This tutorial is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany license.

See Licence.