::xslt::compile, ::xslt::extension


package require xslt

package require xslt ?2.5?
::xslt::compile doc
ssheet method ?option value...? ?args...?
::xslt::extension add nsuri tcl-namespace

Tcl Namespace Usage



TclXSLT is a wrapper for the Gnome libxslt library that allows an application to perform XSL transformations (XSLT). The package also provides a binding to the XSLT extension mechanism so that XSLT extension may be implemented using Tcl scripts.

Transformation only works with documents created by TclDOM/libxml2.

The TclXSLT package makes extensive use of Tcl objects. Compiled XSL stylesheets are stored as the internal representation of a Tcl object. Source and result documents are accessed via TclDOM's C interface as Tcl objects. This allows the application to cache parsed XML documents and compiled XSL stylesheets for better runtime performance.

Packages and Namespaces

The TclXSLT package defines the xslt package and also a Tcl namespace using that name.



The ::xslt::compile command pre-compiles a stylesheet document. It returns a compiled stylesheet object and also defines a Tcl command to access the stylesheet. This Tcl command may be used to transform XML documents.

Example 1. Example

set source_doc [::dom::libxml2::parse $XML]
set ssheet_doc [::dom::libxml2::parse $XSLstylesheet]
set ssheet [::xslt::compile $ssheet_doc]
set result [$ssheet transform $source_doc]

NB. It is advisable to use the -baseuri option when parsing the source and stylesheet documents to allow external resources to be resolved.

Stylesheet Command

The stylesheet command created by ::xslt::compile command accesses a compiled stylesheet.

Command Methods

The following command methods may be used:

[cget] [option]

Returns the value of an option. See below for the list of valid options.

[configure] [option value]

Sets the value of an option. Available options are as follows:

[transform] [source] [name | value]

Performs an XSL transformation on the given source document. Stylesheet parameters may be specified as name-value pairs. The return result is the DOM token for the result document.

Stylesheet Parameters

Any number of name-value pairs may be specified as arguments to the stylesheet transform method. These are passed as values for parameters in the stylesheet. libxslt interprets the values as XPath expressions, where the context node is the root node for the source document. To pass a value as a string it must be XPath-quoted, for example

set library "Gnome libxslt"
$ssheet transform $source_doc \
    library '$library' \
    author "'Daniel Veillard'" \
    node {/*/Element[3]}

Following is an example of how to use the stylesheet transform method.

Example 2. Example

set source_doc [::dom::libxml2::parse $XML]
set ssheet_doc [::dom::libxml2::parse $XSLstylesheet]
set ssheet [::xslt::compile $ssheet_doc]
set result_doc [$ssheet transform $source_doc]
set result_xml [::dom::libxml2::serialize $result_doc \
    -method [$ssheet cget -method]]


The ::xslt::extension command is used to manage extensions of the libxslt library. The add is used to register an extension. The remove is used to unregister an extension. See EXTENSIONS for more detail.


The TclXSLT package allows an application to bind Tcl scripts to the extension mechanism of libxslt. This means that Tcl scripts may provide the implementation of an XSLT extension element or function. The binding is achieved to associating a Tcl namespace with an XML namespace.

Implementing An Extension

The Tcl application uses the ::xslt::extension add command to register an extension. An XML Namespace for the extension is specified as an argument, along with a Tcl namespace that will provide implementations of extension elements and functions. For example,

::xslt::extension add ::example

Everytime the ::xslt::transform command is executed, a newly-created XSLT engine is initialized. For each registered extension, every procedure in the associated Tcl namespace is defined in the XSLT engine as either an extension element or an extension function. The procedure is defined as an extension function if it has a variable argument list, otherwise it is defined as an extension element. The procedure name is used as the local part of the extension name. For example,

namespace eval example {
    namespace export myfunc myelement

proc example::myfunc {name args} {
    global app
    return $app($name)
proc example::myelement {node} {
    global app
    return $app([dom::libxml2::node cget $node -nodeName])

"myfunc" is defined as an extension function and "myelement" is defined as an extension element.

Extension Functions

The arguments to an extension function are converted to a string value and then passed as parameters to the Tcl procedure.

The return result of the Tcl procedure becomes the return value of the extension function. The type of the result is preserved where possible, otherwise it is converted to a string value.

Extension Elements

Extension elements have not been implemented in TclXSLT v1.1.

Using An Extension

To invoke an extension in an XSL stylesheet, use the normal XSLT extension mechanism. The XML Namespace matches the extension to the registered Tcl namespace (NB. the stylesheet author is free to choose any prefix for the extension namespace). For example,

<xsl:stylesheet version='1.0'

  <xsl:template match='/'>
    <xsl:text>Result of calling extension is "</xsl:text>
    <xsl:value-of select='eg:myfunc("foo")'/>


This stylesheet would result in the following Tcl script being evaluated:

::example::myfunc foo