Can you really use XML?
The lingua franca of documents?

News flash: The next US administration has announced support for "open formats" ... are you ready to work with them?

Tightening training budgets compel new strategies: Are you unable to travel to attend quality training or afford to bring in on-site instruction?

You are 24 hours away from mastering XSLT and XPath - the XML transformation stylesheet language and the XML addressing language. Master the material in this course and you will have the skills to compete for XML projects!

Self-paced study ensures you learn at your own speed - all material is hyperlinked, all answers are walked through by the instructor, and any portion of the class can be replayed any number of times to best understand the content! Your instructor, XML/XSLT/XPath guru G. Ken Holman insists on delivering every Crane training session personally ... but since we can't clone him, we created this video as the next best thing to having him physically present for your students. View each video as many times as you like, replaying any portion you need for review.

Online version offers five hours of free content - find the entire 24-hour class streaming online at the US-based Udemy and watch five hours of free introductory content at your leisure; pay only for the remaining 19 hours of detailed content. The content includes all DVD-ROM videos.

Please use the 30% discount coupon for US$125 instead of the list price of US$180.

DVD-ROM version is licensed to be shared (not copied nor posted) - all material is hyperlinked at the frame level making jumping between frames easier than dragging the time slider! When done the class, pass on the physical media to another to use (please do not copy or post the content in any way). Use this one-minute-long test fragment (3.9Mb) to get a feel for how the DVD-ROM content works:

PTUX Video snapshot

DVD-ROM can be licensed to mount internally on an Intranet for unlimited use - rather than sharing multiple copies of the DVD physical media, your company can buy the license to mount the material internally provided there is no public access to the content. There is no limit to the number of internal users you have access the material. The licensing is available on either a geographical site basis or world-wide basis.

Some student quotes we've received:

  • "You give great insight and information not found elsewhere"
  • "Very detailed and precise overview of the language"
  • "My manager wanted a course that was in-depth and this course touches every bit of XSLT"
  • "Ken is extremely knowledgeable about the topics covered, and an excellent presenter"
  • "Actually, there was more covered than I expected, y'all touched on everything"
  • "Completely covered all aspects of material in a very descriptive method with great examples to reinforce material"
  • "Getting a more complete understanding of XSLT's context and intent makes a huge difference, the results are not what I expected ... they're better!"

Introductory DVD-ROM price includes express worldwide shipping:

Buy a copy of the DVD-ROM by clicking here or contact us with a purchase order for the license to mount the content internally

Online price includes perpetual access through Udemy:

Access the online copy by clicking here for Udemy

Read below for all the details!

1. Details

1.1. A valuable training resource

"Practical Transformation Using XSLT and XPath Video" overviews the entire scope of the Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) 1.0, XSLT 2.0, the XML Path Language (XPath) 1.0 and XPath 2.0 W3C Recommendations, used for transforming structured information (e.g. XML to XML, XML to HTML, XML to XSL-FO, XML to text, etc.).

1.2. Benefit of video training

This is over 24 hours of recorded video (see video syllabus below), organized in modules and lessons, hyperlinked down to the individual frame level. This gives the student self-paced control to quickly resume wherever they left off in their studies, or to quickly focus in on a particular topic.

The physical product can be shared (but not reproduced) amongst your staff, giving everyone the benefit of instructor-led training on their own schedule.

Comprehensive PDF handouts accompany the training material, and the purchase of the video includes at no extra charge the complete PDF book from which the handouts are derived: another valuable training and development resource.

Click here for detailed pricing information on all of Crane's products.

1.3. Compatibility on your computing platform

The video is organized as presentation slides, mimicking the instructor-led training that has been so successful for Crane's students over the years. The projection slides are excerpted from the PDF student handout and the instructor walks the student through the material:

To test your platform for successfully running Crane's DVD-ROM video products, please click here to download a one-minute test video (3.9Mb). Using this you can ensure the page navigation, page display, lesson presentation, audio/visual and hyperlinked slide table of contents are all functioning. This test uses the same technology as the lesson materials. Although we have successfully run these HTML-and-Flash-based lesson files on Windows, Macintosh and Linux (with Totem) platforms, we cannot refund your purchase if the lessons do not work on your particular platform configuration. By downloading, unpacking and exercising the test video, you can be assured that the product will run on your computing platform.

1.4. Expected Audience

For those organizations needing comprehensive training without the expense of sending staff on travel, blocking valuable staff time for training, and avoiding the cost of bringing in a professional trainer.

1.5. Prerequisites - Is this video appropriate for your staff?

Attendees must have a working technical knowledge of XML concepts and the syntax of angle brackets, as these are not covered explicitly in the course.

To participate in the hands-on exercises, attendees must have either an XSLT-equipped or a Java-equipped personal computer. Complete solutions are provided to research in place of attendees deriving the exercise solutions on their own.

Attendees must have a firm knowledge of the operating system environment as there is no time for coaching from the instructor regarding the command-line environments of today's operating systems.

To get the maximum benefit from this material, please put aside the time to work on the exercises.

1.6. Synopsis

For many people, all that is needed to "get over the hump" of understanding the apparently complex concepts of the Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT) and the XML Path Language (XPath) is instruction in the basics upon which these standards are built and exercise of the theory.

"Practical Transformation Using XSLT and XPath" successfully equips the attendee with an understanding of the major components of these Recommendations, and practice in the skills required to use XSLT and XPath with publicly available tools.

When designing our XML vocabularies to represent our information, we should not be constraining our structures to the presented form we anticipate. We should be constraining our structures to the inherent relationships of information considering the ways we plan to author and maintain our information for the long haul and for many and varied purposes and presentations. This is the commonly-felt shortfall of capturing our information in HTML or, if we are printing information, in either a proprietary printing application or a static print appearance.

XPath and XSLT give us the ability to, respectively, address our structured information in XML and express the desired transformation of our information into new and varied arrangements. Perhaps these arrangements are necessary because of different technologies such as web browsers, hand-held devices, and print engines. Perhaps these arrangements are necessary because the target audiences for our information differ and we need to either subset or emphasize or rearrange our information into the target uses that make our information the easiest to consume for each of our many and varied users.

XPath is an expression language based on an abstract node-based representation of our structured XML information. XSLT is a declarative language, yet powerful enough to be Turing-complete, where we represent the result of the transformation of our information in a way that a processor can engage whatever algorithms are required to produce the final desired vocabulary and structure.

Using XSLT and XPath frees us to focus our XML creation processes on the nature of our information, while at the same time frees us to meet existing and future requirements for different uses of our information.

Many people find that the recommendations themselves are difficult to read and understand, while others find the documents outright scary. The curriculum covers the entire suite of functionality in the recommendations in order to understand how to be productive using tools in a production environment.

The hands-on exercises help cement XSLT and XPath concepts by leading the attendee to resolve basic, often initially frustrating, obstacles under the supervision of the instructor and collaboration with fellow students. Exercises cover important concepts with simple objectives. Attendees are invited to research completed exercise solutions without needing to derive the solutions on their own.

During the course the exercises are timed to cover breaks so that students can choose to balance work time with break time should extra exercise time be required, thus reducing the chance of delaying the progress of the course material.

1.7. Hands-on exercises

Sample complete answers to all exercises are available to attendees. All exercises produce HTML for use in a browser to check results, though the principles taught in the course cover all possible result tree syntax serializations.

The following exercises are included in the five-day course:

  • the setup and invocation of XSLT processors
  • the XPath data model
  • writing XPath expressions for addressing nodes of a document tree
  • the differences in push- and pull-oriented stylesheets
  • XML source tree traversal
  • using called templates and user-defined functions
  • XSLT stylesheet management techniques
  • XSLT numbering facilities
  • using number functions
  • using string functions
  • building a table of contents
  • using date functions
  • advanced XSLT features
  • sorting and grouping XML information into reports

1.8. Video Syllabus

Detailed lesson table of content (total time: 24:01:20):

  • Introduction/Overview (22:16)
  • Module 1 - The context of XSL Transformations and the XML Path Language (1:38:25)
    • Introduction - The context of XSL Transformations and the XML Path Language (01:14)
    • Lesson 1 - The XML family of Recommendations (1:20:07)
    • Lesson 2 - Transformation data flows (17:04)
  • Module 2 - Getting started with XSLT and XPath (1:26:48)
    • Introduction - Getting started with XSLT and XPath (01:29)
    • Lesson 1 - Stylesheet examples (17:14)
    • Lesson 2 - Syntax basics - stylesheets, templates, instructions (23:46)
    • Lesson 3 - Exercise Setup (14:35)
    • Lesson 4 - More stylesheet examples (26:50)
    • Lesson 5 - Stylesheet processing exercise (02:53)
  • Module 3 - XPath data model (4:59:55)
    • Introduction - XPath data model (11:43)
    • Lesson 1 - XPath data model components (1:32:06)
    • Lesson 2 - Exercise - XPath data model (17:05)
    • Lesson 3 - XPath expressions and patterns (2:29:58)
    • Lesson 4 - Exercise - XPath location expressions (29:02)
  • Module 4 - XSLT processing model (2:09:37)
    • Introduction - XSLT processing model (10:02)
    • Lesson 1 - XSLT processing model (1:30:23)
    • Lesson 2 - Sample XSLT stylesheets (08:31)
    • Lesson 3 - Exercise - Source tree traversal (20:41)
  • Module 5 - The XSLT transformation environment (1:27:15)
    • Introduction - The XSLT transformation environment (01:25)
    • Lesson 1 - Stylesheet basics (17:34)
    • Lesson 2 - Input, output and environment (32:22)
    • Lesson 3 - Exercise - HTML (35:53)
  • Module 6 - XSLT stylesheet management (1:51:26)
    • Introduction - XSLT stylesheet management (02:46)
    • Lesson 1 - Modularizing the logical structure of stylesheets (52:28)
    • Lesson 2 - Exercise - Using called templates and user-defined functions (11:43)
    • Lesson 3 - Modularizing the physical structure of stylesheets (31:55)
    • Lesson 4 - Exercise - Stylesheet management (12:34)
  • Module 7 - XSLT process control and result tree instructions (2:08:37)
    • Introduction - XSLT process control and result tree instructions (01:42)
    • Lesson 1 - Conditional control instructions (25:29)
    • Lesson 2 - Numbering instructions (24:00)
    • Lesson 3 - Result tree node instantiation (50:56)
    • Lesson 4 - Exercise - Number representation (26:29)
  • Module 8 - XPath and XSLT expressions and advanced techniques (4:59:15)
    • Introduction - XPath and XSLT expressions and advanced techniques (06:46)
    • Lesson 1 - Expression function usage (03:49)
    • Lesson 2 - Number expressions (16:18)
    • Lesson 3 - Exercise - Using number functions (10:59)
    • Lesson 4 - String expressions (1:13:49)
    • Lesson 5 - Exercise - Using string functions (25:24)
    • Lesson 6 - Boolean expressions (23:49)
    • Lesson 7 - Node-set expressions (20:19)
    • Lesson 8 - Exercise - Building a table of contents (10:10)
    • Lesson 9 - Sequence expressions (17:55)
    • Lesson 10 - Date and time expressions (16:41)
    • Lesson 11 - Exercise - Using date functions (12:33)
    • Lesson 12 - Miscellaneous expressions (09:53)
    • Lesson 13 - Content and document referencing techniques (35:53)
    • Lesson 14 - Exercise - Advanced XSLT features (14:57)
  • Module 9 - Sorting and grouping (1:57:33)
    • Introduction - Sorting and grouping (03:00)
    • Lesson 1 - Sorting source nodes to make result nodes (19:39)
    • Lesson 2 - Grouping constructs found in information (58:05)
    • Lesson 3 - Exercise - Sorting (36:48)
  • Annex A - XML to HTML transformation (24:39)
    • Introduction - XML to HTML transformation (00:45)
    • Lesson 1 - The W3C web presentation standards context (08:40)
    • Lesson 2 - Well-formed HTML (13:06)
    • Lesson 3 - HTML markup generation techniques (02:07)
  • Annex B - XSL formatting semantics introduction (09:37)
    • Introduction - XSL formatting semantics introduction (03:14)
    • Lesson 1 - Formatting model (02:40)
    • Lesson 2 - Formatting objects (00:55)
    • Lesson 3 - Example stylesheet with formatting constructs (02:48)
  • Annex C - Instruction, function and grammar summaries (04:07)
    • Introduction - Instruction, function and grammar summaries (00:32)
    • Lesson 1 - Vocabulary, functions and grammars 1.0 (02:50)
    • Lesson 2 - Vocabulary, functions and grammars 2.0 (00:45)
  • Annex D - Tool questions (17:48)
    • Introduction - Tool questions (08:23)
    • Lesson 1 - XSLStyle™ (09:25)
  • Postlude (04:03)
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