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What free tools can be used to create XSLT files?

Posted on 2011-03-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-18
Hi
Some of the reports we obtain from our systems are output in XML format.  I tried hand coding in gedit (like notepad) and found it really difficult, to do things with some simple stuff based on what I have Googled.

Can someone tell me of a few free or open source tools that they can recommended to create the XSLT files so that I can make nice reports from these raw XML files?  Are there ones that let you work with the XML data file itself then model the report layout you would like?

I don't need anything fancy, as these reports are for in house use only and the reports are only needed infrequently, so the easier to use the better.

Would like to run these on linux if possible.
If such free tools aren't available, I'll consider buying a low end one, so please recommend one of these.  In fact if the purchased one is worth it, I'll probably buy it anyway.

If my question is too hard, maybe I just need a good simple to use reference book for basic to intermediate level.

Thanks
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Question by:blokeman
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23 Comments
 
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by:zulumike
zulumike earned 50 total points
ID: 35066995
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by:Geert Bormans
Geert Bormans earned 400 total points
ID: 35067011
Not too expensive but really really good (and you can test it for a month)
www.oxygenxml.com

The kernow project is something really worth looking at, it is some sort of developer around saxon
http://kernowforsaxon.sourceforge.net/
But I don't know how well it is maintained currently

I haven't tried this one yet, but it seems worth the test
http://free.editix.com/features.html#XSLT_Editor

this one is a very good learning book
http://my.safaribooksonline.com/book/databases/xml/0596000537

the latest edition also covers XSLT2
http://my.safaribooksonline.com/9780596527211
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by:Geert Bormans
ID: 35067018
@zulumike,
I never tried editix, did you? How do you like it? What can you do with it?
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by:zulumike
ID: 35067025
I have never tried it myself, just got it recommended from a far college
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by:Geert Bormans
ID: 35067043
Ah OK, so I 'll have to check myself then
far collegue being google by accident :-) ?

I see you are new to Experts Exchange.
Just a friendly note: people asking questions here expect more than the first google hit without further explanation
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by:zulumike
ID: 35067063
Thanks for friendly notes Gertone :-)
I have noe experience in xslt, so cannot give any explanation, just a tip you can try out.
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by:blokeman
ID: 35067102
Thanks so far...

http://free.editix.com/download.html looks worthy of consideration, but www.oxygenxml.com is a bit expensive  for me at $199 for the XML Author Pro.  It looks like good software, but more for pro developers I think.

Anyone else care to chip in with another one or two tools they've had experience with that would do the job?
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by:Geert Bormans
ID: 35068186
well, cladonia has something similar
http://www.freexmleditor.com/
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by:Geert Bormans
Geert Bormans earned 400 total points
ID: 35068204
and maybe you have eclipse or inteliJ installed

intelliJ pluging
http://plugins.intellij.net/plugin/?id=1818

eclipse project
http://wiki.eclipse.org/XSLT_Project
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by:Badotz
ID: 35070640
I've used Notepad along with Michael Kay's excellent book, XSLT, ISBN 1-861005-06-7 from Wrox Press.
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by:Geert Bormans
ID: 35070903
badotz is referring to this book
http://www.wrox.com/WileyCDA/WroxTitle/XSLT-2-0-and-XPath-2-0-Programmer-s-Reference-4th-Edition.productCd-0764569090.html
or one of its earlier editions
(I have them all, and they are all worn out)
but a little warning is in place.. it is an extremely good reference, that you should have on your table, but is not very suitable as a learning tool

notepad for XSLT... cool if you can do that,
do you mean XML Notepad? Does it help in debugging, or do you just use it as a text editor combined with command line execution?
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by:Badotz
ID: 35071060
>>XML Notepad?

Nope.

If you cannot fathom Michael's book, I question your intent to learn XSLT. If it were easy, everyone would do it ;-)
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Author Comment

by:blokeman
ID: 35139300
Wow this looks more complicated than I thought, and I am not sure exactly how to evaluate the two programs that have been recommended:
http://free.editix.com/download.html
http://www.freexmleditor.com/

I downloaded and ran both of them, but that's where I stalled.
I don't mind spending a hours learning about one of them, but I am not sure which would be best for me to concentrate on and I don't want to spend hours trying to learn and evaluate both just to decide this.
Can anyone, hopefully from experience, recommend one or the other that would best fullfill my needs, which are to use a XML data file as a starting point and then model a XSLT doc from it to create nice reports.  A sample XML data file is attached if it helps.
 trustee-apps.xml
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Expert Comment

by:SANbuddies
ID: 35190056
I am personally using Microsoft Visual studio to write and test XSLT.
If you already have MS visual studio you can use the same.
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by:blokeman
ID: 35190151
That may be OK, but I havn't used Windows for years.  It has to run on linux.
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by:Badotz
ID: 35190234
Ah, then I would use vi for the editing. Not sure what to use for testing.

Linux?Is this a production system? I'm just curious, not being judgemental ;-)
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by:
Geert Bormans earned 400 total points
ID: 35190377
Microsoft visual studio is not free (my copy is more expensive than my Oxygen IDE)

I have just tested the free editix, I am not impressed, but it allows editing (context helped editing even)
The free version does not do XSLT debugging,
but it does give appropriate error messages.

I am not impressed but it is free and I think you can do what you need (and can expect from a free IDE)
I suggest you go with that one

I could not test the exchanger one (the second) since it fails to create a java vm
I don't trust tools that fail to do a proper installation :-)

So go with this one
http://free.editix.com/download.html
is my suggestion

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Author Comment

by:blokeman
ID: 35190488
VI? :-D - self torture not applicable!  Gedit does the job nicely.

This is nothing but the best for production - file, print, web server, ftp, samba, (or domain services for pc's), application dev, web based management - all running on Suse Linux Enterprise Server, as used by the London Stock Exchange.  Secure. Fast. Customisable.
Check out Novell's Open Enterprise Server - http://www.novell.com/products/openenterpriseserver/ 

I support Windows at legacy sites, but won't implement it while linux is such a viable alternative.

But we digress...
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by:blokeman
ID: 35190561
I must dash for now...Will try to wrap this up tomorrow with some testing.
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by:eridanix
eridanix earned 50 total points
ID: 36503133
Hi,

you can use
VISUAL WEB DEVELOPER 2010 EXPRESS
http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2010-editions/visual-web-developer-express

It's free with a great intellisense for writing xsl tags.
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by:Badotz
ID: 36503358
@eridanix - Have you been listening? It must run under Linux.
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by:eridanix
ID: 36503392
@Badotz - Sorry, my mistake.
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by:blokeman
ID: 36511604
I haven't forgotten about this question...and just tuned back in.
I will persist to leave it open a bit longer before making a decision.
Still looking..
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