What XSL 2.0 means for implementers and users


The block diagram for XSL 1.0 and XSL 1.1 was fairly straightforward: source XML transformed to FO markup then creating pages. The official block diagram for XSL 2.0 doesn't yet exist, but indications are that it will be closer to an octopus than to the arrowed straight line of the currents diagram.

The requirements for XSL 2.0 includes features such as animations, feedback from the pagination stage, formatting of document collections, variable-sized regions, and positioning objects relative to each other.

A recitation of the features selected for XSL 2.0 may roll over you with the occasional spark of interest for some of the features, but an implementer has to consider the full gamut of features when designing a formatter -- irrespective of whether the features will be in the first releases, they all still have to be considered. This paper discusses the changes that will have to take place under the hood of any XSL formatter that supports XSL 2.0 and what those additional capabilities can bring to your stylesheets.