Introduction to XSLT for Digital Humanists

University of Victoria

Syd Bauman, Brown University (
Martin Holmes, University of Victoria (


We (purposefully) did not cover some subjects initially scheduled, and covered some that were not. I've reconstructed the schedule here to somewhat more closely resemble what we really did. But it's done from memory while on a plane with far too little sleep, so it may be somewhat off.

The lists of topics not covered, slide sets not used, and extra topics covered, is below the schedule.

Mon 04 Jun

Session 1, 09:30–12:00
  • Welcome and introductions; logistics, etc.
  • Overview (slides: Slidy, static) and gameplan
  • Navigating the XML tree and selecting nodes: XPath path expressions (slides: Slidy, static)
Session 2, 13:15–15:50
  • Transforming XML using XSLT (executing an XSLT program) (slides: Slidy, static)
  • XSLT template paradigm (anatomy of an XSLT stylesheet) (slides: Slidy, static, although we likely won’t use them)
  • Built-in template rules and how to override them (slides: Slidy, static)
  • hands-on

Tue 05 Jun

Session 3, 09:30–12:00
  • A first dozen XPath functions (slides: Slidy, static)
Session 4a, 13:15–14:00
  • hands-on
  • XSL Variables: storing information (slides: Slidy, static)
Session ♀, 14:06–14:42 Transit of Venus, weather permitting
Session 4a, 14:50–15:50
  • XSLT Constructors: dynamically constructed content and identity transforms (slides: Slidy, static)
  • hands-on

Wed 06 Jun

Session 5, 09:30–12:00
Session 6, 13:15–15:50
  • Template Modes (repeated use of input) (slides: Slidy, static)
  • hands-on

Thu 07 Jun

Session 7, 09:30–12:00
  • hands-on
Session 8, 13:15–15:50
  • hands-on

Fri 08 Jun

Session 9, 09:30–12:00

Topics not covered and slide sets not used.

Items covered, not on original schedule


Many slides and handouts refer to the page or chapter of the reference work that we personally use:

Kay, Michael. XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0 Programmer’s Reference. 4th edition. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley/Wrox, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-470-19274-0

References to “Kay” are to this book.


The resource page has links to all the slide sets (whether used in this workshop or not), interesting web sites we may have shown, and useful TEI links. The general WWP workshop materials for download page may be of interest, too.

Instructor contact information

Send mail to Martin or Syd.