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Extensible Style Language

XSL-List – Open Forum on XSL

The complete and searchable XSL-List archive is available at

This is the Web page of, the open forum for the discussion of XSL – Extensible Stylesheet Language.


XSL-List hosts discussion on XSL itself, XSL applications and implementation, and XSL user questions. XSL-List is open to everyone: users and developers, experts and novices alike. There is no restriction to what may be posted on XSL-List provided it is related to XSL, which is considered to include XSLT, XPath, and XSL Formatting Objects (FO).

XSL-List is not a W3C mailing list and has no affiliation with W3C (or any official standing with any standards organization). However, XSL-List was established with the encouragement of members of the W3C XSL Working Group, and members of the Working Group are among the subscribers to the list.

Only subscribers can post to XSL-List, but since the goal is to increase the level of XSL knowledge, XSL-List is being archived for everybody to view. The topics discussed on XSL-List change as new ideas arise or existing problems are dealt with, but the archive contains all of the ideas and solutions that have been discussed on the list.

XSL-List is provided by Mulberry Technologies, Inc., as a service to the XSL user community.

Subscribing to XSL-List

To subscribe to the list, fill out the form at

Daily Digest

Daily digests – copies of a whole days XSL-List messages sent as one email message – are available. Not only is it a single email message containing all of that day’s XSL-List messages, it is also half the size, on average, of the individual messages since it doesn’t include the overhead of the mail headers from each message.

To subscribe to the digest, use the form at, fill out the forms that are presented, respond to the emailed confirmation message, and after your subscription is successful, select “My Settings” and click the box beside “Daily Digests”.

Posting Guidelines

Only subscribers can post to XSL-List, and only from the exact address they used when they subscribed.

There is no restriction on what may be posted to XSL-List provided it is related to XSL. Items concerning XML but without a direct connection to XSL should be posted to an XML-related list instead of to XSL-List. Items related to DSSSL should be posted to the DSSSList.

Do not begin your subject line with “help” or “subscribe” since the list software will bounce the message because it looks like it is an administrative request.

It is best to start a new message for a new thread. Do not start a new thread by replying to an unrelated message and just changing the subject line, since the header of your message will contain references to the previous message and your new message will appear in the archive as one of the replies to the original message.

Both subscribers to the full list ( and subscribers to the digest ( should post their messages to; the messages will be received by both subscribers to the list and subscribers to the digest.

Before You Post ... Do Your Homework

In Your Posting ...

Name the XSL processor, processor version, and version of the language you are using. This information is frequently necessary to diagnose a problem exactly, and always helps respondents give good advice.

If you are replying to a post, trim the quoted message to just the parts to which you are replying.

In addition to following simple rules of net etiquette and common sense, you will improve the chances that you will receive prompt and helpful responses by:

  • Asking questions specific enough that answers are possible. Describe what you are trying to do, how you approached it, what happened, and why you don’t like the result you got. Don’t simply say “it gave me an error”; paste in the error message (someone else can probably make sense of it).
  • Illustrating your question with a demonstration of the problem. Well-composed questions frequently include a small XML sample, an XSLT stylesheet, the results received, and the result that was desired – all in miniature, to make it comprehensible to readers new to your problem. (It is also not uncommon to discover what a problem actually is in the process of reducing it to an illustrative version.)

Use Informative Subject Lines

When posting to XSL-List, do not use uninformative subject lines like “Urgent”, “Question”, or “Newbie HELP!!!”, which don’t say anything about what your problem is. Instead, use a meaningful subject line that will make sense to the people whose help you are trying to get. It may even get a response from people who normally shy away from “beginner” questions.

Informative subject lines make the XSL-List archive more useful since people with the same problem will more easily find the relevant threads.

Do Not Cross-Post

Cross-posting to XSL-List and to another list, even XML-Dev or the DSSSList, is generally counter-productive. No list’s archive will contain the complete thread; cross-posts from non-subscribers continuing the thread will bounce; and XSL-List subscribers who are not also on the other list will only see half the thread, as will those on the other list who are not also reading XSL- List. Subscribers to both lists may see two copies of the message, annoying them as well.

Replies Go to the List

The reply address of XSL-List messages (and of digests) is so REPLIES GO TO THE LIST BY DEFAULT. If you want to reply to just the author of a post, you should change the “To:” field in your reply.

Use Short Quotes of Previous Messages in Replies

Please do not quote entire messages just to add a few lines at the beginning or end. Instead, quote the parts to which you are directly replying or quote enough to establish the context.

Everybody on the list has already received the message that you are quoting, and anyone searching the archive will find your message and the previous message listed under the same thread.

Subscribers to the List will just ignore most of the quoted messages and move to the next post, but subscribers to XSL-List Digest will mostly have to page past the quoted messages to reach the next material which they are interested in reading.

Postings Must Be in Plain Text Only

Postings to XSL-List must be in plain text only. XSL-List does not allow HTML postings because many users cannot display them appropriately, and because they are unnecessarily large.

Attachments Are Banned

Since Mulberry’s mailing lists have in the past been unwittingly used for spreading viruses in email attachments, all email attachments are banned from XSL-List.

XSL stylesheets are XML files, and XML files are text files, so this does not affect the majority of posts to the list since you can include a file’s text in the body of your message. If you need to refer to a binary file such as a PDF file, you should put the file on a Web site or FTP site and include the file’s URL in your XSL-List post.

If you do include an attachment in your XSL-List post – even a HTML attachment – your message will bounce.

Archive of XSL-List

Your Post Will Be Permanently Archived

Because it is a public resource created by and for the entire XSL community, we do not edit XSL-List. Therefore, it is the responsibility of list subscribers not to post anything to the list that they do not want publicly available, possibly for a very long time.

Postings in the list archives will be complete, including: all contents, examples, sample data, code or code fragments, and email header and footer contents. An automated process will obscure the domain portion of email addresses (the part after the @ sign) in the headers and footers of postings, but no guarantee is made that this process will be completely successful. Other than this, all postings will be archived in public as received.

Further, we at Mulberry could not, even if we wanted to, edit all of the archives of XSL-List. Several third-parties have created unofficial archives of XSL-List, often without asking, or even informing, Mulberry. Postings to XSL-List will be included in an unknown and ever-changing variety of web publications. If you don’t want your questions/comments/answers in public view, don’t post them to XSL-List.

Official List Archive

XSL-List messages are archived at

Third-party Archives of XSL-List

Third parties are welcome to create searchable or reference archives of XSL-List provided they adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The material is clearly labelled as being from XSL-List, with an acknowledgement of Mulberry’s role as provider of XSL-List.
  • There is a navigable pointer to the official list page at either on every posting or associated with the user interface such that it is visible with the postings.
  • List postings are unedited.
  • Either the entire archive of the list is provided, or there is a clearly stated method for selecting the subset of the list that is provided.

Mulberry does not provide third parties with help to create their archives, does not endorse particular third party archives, and has no control over the ways in which they present the material in their systems.

People or organizations that publish the contents of XSL-List without following the guidelines above are being very antisocial. Please bookmark either the official XSL-List archive or one provided by a service that plays nicely in the community and shun those who do not give credit where credit is due.

Unsubscribing from XSL-List

To unsubscribe from XSL-List, use the form at or click on the “EasyUnsubscribe” link at the bottom of any message you receive from the list.

If you have difficulties unsubscribing from the list make sure you are unsubscribing EXACTLY the email address that is subscribed.

If You Stop Getting XSL-List Messages

If you stop receiving XSL-List messages, you may have been removed because mail to you was bouncing. You are not being picked on, and you can just rejoin the list.

Reporting Bugs in Software

Bugs in software should firstly be reported to its author rather than to the XSL List. Questions regarding how to work around bugs are welcome, but the list does not function as a bug-tracking system for any software.

Information on XSL

The W3C information on XSL is at

Mulberry’s Quick References are at and cover XSLT, XPath, and XQuery.

DSSSList – The DSSSL Users’ Mailing List

Mulberry Technologies, Inc., also provides DSSSList – the DSSSL Users’ Mailing List. For subscription information and the DSSSList archive, see


If you have any questions or problems, please contact

Administrative Communications

The list administrator will reply to emailed questions relating to the mechanics and administration of XSL-List and to help new users learn to use the list. However, the administrator will not take the time to navigate mazes of any sort in order to do so. If the list owner’s messages are rejected by a user’s anti-spam system, the list owner will not pursue the matter. Similarly, if list-related notices to a subscriber are rejected as spam, the subscriber will be unsubscribed.