Tech Is Hard

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Self-Contained Data Tables in XSL Stylesheets

I’m going to share a trick I’ve been using in my stylesheets for years, because every time I do it someone gets amazed.

Lookups often need to be performed during transformation of a document. Let’s use the example of taking month numbers and turning them into the standard 3-character abbreviations. Instead of hard-coding the values in a choose, or reading a separate XML document, add your own working data to the stylesheet with a namespace.

    <grant:month-name month="01">Jan</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="02">Feb</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="03">Mar</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="04">Apr</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="05">May</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="06">Jun</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="07">Jul</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="08">Aug</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="09">Sep</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="10">Oct</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="11">Nov</grant:month-name>
    <grant:month-name month="12">Dec</grant:month-name>

For this to work inside your XSLT, you have to add a namespace prefix declaration for it:

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl=""

Then you use the document() function without a document, to get this stylesheet:

<xsl:value-of select="document('')/xsl:stylesheet/grant:stuff/grant:month-name[@month = 10]"/>

Will get you

One response to “Self-Contained Data Tables in XSL Stylesheets

  1. Pingback: Page not found « Tech Is Hard

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