Nik's Technology Blog

Travels through programming, networks, and computers

View Output of an XSLT Transformation using Firefox

XSLT is a powerful method of converting XML into another well-formed XML based document. You can for example transform RSS syndication format into ATOM and even XML into XHTML.

Probably the easiest way to debug your XSLT is to use the Firefox web browser. Make sure you have the Web Developer toolbar (by Chris Pederick) installed.

You'll need to add a stylesheet to the XML document you're transforming using a declaration like this:


<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="transformAtomFormat.xsl"?>

Then in Windows Explorer right-click the XML document and open in Firefox. You'll see the rendered output of your transformation in the browser. If you view the page source you'll see your XML source, not much use when you want to see the output source of your XSLT transformation. For this you need to right click somewhere on the page, find the Web Deveoper toolbar menu and choose "View Generated Source" from the sub-menu. Now you'll see what Firefox is rendering to the screen.

Find out more about XSLT at W3 Schools

Web Developer Extension for Firefox / Mozilla

If like me you work with browsers and web pages on a daily basis then you might find this extension to Mozilla's Firefox a useful tool.

The extension simply adds a web developer toolbar to Firefox enabling you to perform many annoyingly awkward functions of web development much more efficiently.

One of my favourite features enables you to edit a sites' stylesheet on-the-fly. Other features are very useful too, such as the handy view source button, the browser resolution resize button and cookie information retrieval.

It also enables you to validate a page and outline various page elements including depreciated elements etc.

This toolbar is a must for any Web Developer.

http://www.chrispederick.com/work/firefox/webdeveloper/

Web Browsers For Web Developers

A couple of years after the release of Internet Explorer (IE) version 6 and it's starting to feel dated. The competition (Mozilla, Opera, Safari) have superceded any advantage IE had over them with features such as tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking and built in multi-search toolbars. Microsoft's announcement of future revisions being shelved is another nail in the coffin for IE.

XP Service Pack 2 recently introduced a much-needed pop-up blocker for Windows XP users but I don't think this can save IE.

Mozilla's Firefox is gaining ground fast and I'm one of it's avid users. It's fast to load, has tabbed browsing (so you can avoid having 15 IE windows open at once), it's skinable and has a built in RSS reader and the best thing is it's FREE!

What's more it's open source meaning anyone can help in making it better.

What more could you want from your browser?

http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/