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1 Week 4 COAP 2180

On week four you will learn how to transform XML content, e.g. for rendering with HTML:

  • Simple XML to HTML node transformation with XSLT templates and node selection
  • XSLT value extraction

This homework can be part of your term project.

2 Midterm - week 5 preparation

We shall briefly discuss the kind and structure of the exam which will take place on Wednesday week 5

3 Teaching materials

Tour de XML (This week: ASX playlists and X3D)


Using the editor

  • Exchanger XML Editor (in particular, read the sections concerning XSLT)
  • In case you are using another XML editor that can't do XSLT transformations, you may install the XML developer toolbar Firefox extension. It allows to display the transformation output and more...

XSLT and XPath texts

Live demo ... using a student-made XML file for homework 3 ?

Examples files

Textbook chapters

If you find that my lecture notes and slides are incomplete, too short or not good enough, reading either one or both texts is mandatory !

  • Ray, Learning XML, Second Edition, Transformation with XSLT chapter
  • Ray, Learning XML, Second Edition, XPath and XPointer chapter (pp. 205-213)
  • Harold, XML in a Nutshell, XSL Transformations (XSLT) chapter (optional)

These chapters are available through the world classroom.

For the adventurous
  • Follow up the links in the XSLT page.
  • XML Category (All XML-related articles in this wiki)
  • XML (on Wikipedia)

4 Homework 4 - Week 4


  • Translate the example XML file of Homework 3 into HTML. If you didn't do homework 3 or if you want to work with different contents then you can use another XML file.
  • Make sure that a potential user will be happy with the rendering in terms of readability, usability and style.
  • For styling the HTML output, you either can use inline styles or an attached CSS stylesheet.


  • Define a template for each of your elements
  • Elements that only include other elements and no text should just be made into <div> .... </div> blocks


  • Homework 5 will require adding of pictures and links. Advanced students can anticipate this in hw4 and skip hw5 in favour of hw6 and hw7...

Deadline and submission:

  • Wednesday week 5 (before start of class)
  • Use the world classroom
  • Submit the *.dtd, the *.xml test files, the *.xslt file, an optional optional report file (see below), any other file used (CSS, pictures, etc.)

Evaluation criteria (roughly)

Work considered as weak:

  • Incomplete rendering of elements

Work considered as minimalist:

  • Minimal rendering of elements, e.g. no extra information inserted. Validation errors.

Good work and excellent work (B to A-) may include one or several of the following:

  • Valid XML
  • Inserted comments in the XSLT that explain some (not all of the translation)
  • Adding extra information or (if relevant) filtering information
  • Good usability of the result
  • Some CSS styling of the HTML output
  • Revised DTD (with respect to hw3, e.g. some elements for inline markup, other new elements, reordering, etc.)
  • A report (e.g. in HTML, word, PDF etc.)

Brilliant work (A)

  • Does most of the above, i.e. produces a result that could be used in real life.