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XSL Tools Requirements

What should the initial requirements be for XSL Tools 1.0 release. Note that not all ideas will necessarily make it into the first release. Please use this page to make your suggestions as well as enter an enhancement request in the Web Tools Incubator component. If you do make a bug/enhancment request, please put the bug number here and link to it as well.

The overall release plan can be found on the XSL Release Plan page.

XSL Tool Features Requests


  • bug 215120 Launching should be able to run either a simple pipeline or a more complex pipeline using XProc as the configuration language. An yac is an example of an xproc processor.
  • Possibly have pre-existing Launch configurations that can be modified for Docbook, Dita, and Schematron launching.
  • 0.5M4 - Allow for the launching of externally defined XSLT processors. This should be user configurable. This would be an alternative to the ones provided by providers through extension points.
    • DS this is already done
  • bug 213855 - XSLT Launching should not depend on JDT being installed. This is so that other tooling projects like PDT, Ruby etc could include the XSLT support if necessary with out having to include JDT.
  • bug 214228 - Launching should be dependent on the Content-Type not by specific extensions. Currently it looks only for *.xml files.


  • 1.0M4 bug 214235 - Ability to view the Nodes that are in a result set/node set.
    • DC - 2008-01-03 - Currently all variables whether they are strings or nodes, all display the same in the variables view. Need to allow Node Expansion of Node result sets, and display strings as variables.
    • DC - 2008-01-03 - Also should be able to view the current node that a template is acting on either in the variables view or as a seperate view.
  • bug 215119 Ability to put break points in both the source xslt as well as the xml input file.
  • 0.5M4 - Ability to put break points in any stylesheet that is included or imported, and have it stop at the break point.
    • DS 2008-01-06 - you can put breakpoints on any included stylesheet
  • 0.5M4 - See all variables that are currently in scope for the xslt being debugged.
    • 2008-01-03 - Basic functionality implemented.
  • 0.5M4 - bug 213850 Ability to set the XML Input before Debugging begins, if launched from Debug As-> and no existing launch configuration has been created.
    • DS 2008-01-09 - Done
      • DC 2008-01-12 - Assigned bug 213850 for verification and tagged for M1.
  • 0.5M4 - bug 213766 Make sure line and column numbers are displaying in the xml editor when in debug mode.
    • DC 2008-01-03 - Tested with current branch. This is working correctly. Line numbers and column numbers are displaying.
  • 1.0M2 - bug 214236 A view to see what the current Result Document would look like, and what it looks like at the end of a transformation.
    • If transforming to HTML or XHTML, allow preview of the currently debugging result in a Browser view.
    • DS - 2008-01-06 - At the end of the transformation, an editor is opened on the result document. Could flush file buffer if hit a breakpoint half way through and this should show the current result document in the editor itself.
      • DC - 2008-01-12 - assigned and added keyword plan.
      • DC - 2009-01-11 - Added in 1.0M2.
  • 0.5M4 (partially) - bug 215118 Ability to step between Java and XSL in the debugging process. This is useful for tools like Dita-OT that use both Java and XSLT in their build process.
    • DS 2008-01-09 - It is now possible to add breakpoints in called Java code, but the transition between XSLT and Java stepping is not done yet.


  • 0.5M4 bug 213853 XSLT Preferences should reside under the Web and XML -> XML preferences section.

  • 0.5M4 bug 215128, bug 195028,bug 213852, bug 213854 - Content Assitance for all XSL elements that are in the namespace. It would also be nice to have content assistance automatically for any other namespaces that are known.
    • DC - Some of this is already possible through the use of XML Catalog contributions, as the XML Editor will pickup

any grammars that it finds and knows about in the XML Catalog that are in the source document.

    • DC - 2008-01-12 - Initial implementation only supports XSLT 1.0 as it uses the XML Catalog Contribution point. Future versions will either use an extension point from the WST.XML to allow grammar contributions, or may use a custom resolver to provide the resolution for the grammar.
    • DC - 2008-01-18 - Custom resolver has been written to use to determin which version of xslt is being loaded and which version of the xsd grammar for xslt to use for content assist and structural validation.
  • 0.5M6 bug 201954 - XPath creation, editing, and testing support.
    • DC - 2008-03-08 - XPath testing is provided with the XPath Navigator, as well as the XPath View.
    • DC - 2008-03-08 - A new XPath Template preference page is available for the creation of XPath statements.
  • 1.0M2 bug 213775 - Configurable syntax highlighting for XSL. Allow differentiation between XSL elements and those not part of the XSL transformation namespace.
    • DC - 2009-01-11 - This was completed in 1.0M5 to take care of the last remaining issue of the editor not updating the existing editor colors when they are changed in the preferences.
  • 0.5M6 bug 217822 XPath support should have content assistances for select, match, and test attributes. This should provide AXIS as well as XPath function expressioin support. Along with any appropriate documentation for each of the functions.
    • DC - 2008-03-08 - XPath completion support is available for select and test attributes. It provides support for the standard XPath 1.0 functions as well as specific XSLT XPath functions. Users may add their own templates to be used during content assistance.
  • Templates - we should provide a list of commonly used XSL templates both for new files and for attributes and elements.
    • DC - 2008-03-08 - This could be done by adding to the existing XML Templates, but may be something we want to look at having be XSL Specific. It would help if the XML Templates could accept additional context type ids.
  • 0.5M6Variable content assistance - When referencing a variable or parameter, we should provide content assistance for any variables or parameters that are in scope.
    • DC - 2008-03-08 - This may make it into 0.5M6, it will look for the variables that have already been defined either Globally in scope, or within the local scope.
  • If a variable or paramater is unknown, CTRL-1 should provide available suggestions.
  • 0.5M6 - Implemented through existing Validators - bug 201954 - Make sure any compilation errors are highlighted with red squiggleys. Color of squiggleys should change depending on the severity of the error. Yellow for warning, red for error.
  • 0.5M7 - Provide template support for Call-Templates. If creating/defining/calling a named template, content assistance should be available for the name attribute, providing a list of suggested names either have no template defined, or already have a template defined depending on the location where content assist was invoked.
  • 0.5M7 -Validation should not necessarily occur on all grammars in the XSLT, as this could lead to false errors, as XSLT templates will be inserted into elements that may not be expecting them. This is not an error itself.
    • DC - 2008-05-08 - The content for non-XSL namespace elements was changed from LAX to SKIP in the schema. This should prevent it from validating namespace content that isn't XSL.
  • 1.0M4 - Provide a view with the availability of all XPath functions or nodes that could be used at that particular point. Drag and Drop support would be nice to be added to the editor.
    • DC - 2009-01-11 - The templates view allows for Drag and Drop of XPath functions and nodes.
  • 1.0M1 - Possibly create just a Source editor for XSLT, as the existing Design view doesn't necessarily work well for XSLT development. Or create a new design view that allows graphical creation of an XSLT based on existing grammars or an existing XML instance.
    • DC - 2008-03-08 - We will continue to work with the existing XML editor, but it would be nice to have the ability within the XML editor to specify Content Types to show the Design View on or not.
    • DC - 2009-01-11 - The decision was made to go with a XSLT specific source editor as the Design view was not beneficial or useful when editing XSLT files.

  • Provide out of the box support for XSL templates for DITA, DocBook, and SchemaTron.
    • DC - 2008-03-08 - In progress, the Docbook Stylesheets are undergoing IP review.
    • DC - 2008-05-08 - Unfortunately we will not be able to include the Docbook, as there were some licensing, pedgree, and contribution source concerns. However, the ability to provide some limited editing ability for Docbook might be possible, as well as a possible eclipse specific extension to the docbook stylesheets. The docbook stylesheets would need to be retrieved separately and will not be included with the docbook support.

    • Include optional project creation for DocBook and DITA Eclipse Help System documentation. The Eclipse Help System option should create a plug-in.
      • This should be moved to the VEX.

    • Include optional project creation for Eclipse Corner Articles. The Eclipse Corner Articles should create a project that builds HTML pages from DocBook or DITA source. It would be nice for this option to be extensible by adopters so other publications like DeveloperWorks, which already supports XML + XSLT for authoring, can make use of the new project creation wizard.
  • Provide basic refactoring support.
  • 1.0M3 - Content Assistance for stylesheets that are include or imported. The parent stylesheet should be able to see variables, call-templates, with-params, etc from these imported and included stylesheets.


  • 0.5M7 - The ability to specify what should be validated and what shouldn't be validated.
    • DC - 2008-05-08 - Preference settings allow for the control of what is validated and what the error level information is for any particular file.
  • 0.5M7 - Batch Validation of XSLTs in a directory.
    • DC - 2008-05-08 - Builds and leverages the new validation framework so that files can be included or excluded depending on the user's settings.
  • How are XSLT's validated that may depend on external URI sources?

XPath Navigator

  • Implemented in 0.5M5 - Provides the ability to test XPath against any XML file.
  • Provide XPath Content Assist for XPath Navigator and XPath Views.


  • context sensitive help (info pops)
  • Inprogress - task-oriented help information (available from help browser)
  • Inprogress - Articles or on-line tutorials on getting-started and how-to-use.
  • Completed - Document some use-case scenarios that could be used (by others) for brief smoke test.

Release Engineering

  • Completed - Automate build and download pages.
  • Completed - Add automatic JUnit tests.
  • bug 212934 Use Xalan bundle (e.g. from Orbit) instead of raw jar in org.eclipse.wst.xsl.xalan.
    • DC - 2008-01-12 - Xalan 2.7.0. and all dependencies org.apache.bcel v5.2 and java_cup.runtime 0.10 are now in cvs in orbit.
  • bug 215121 Externalize Strings (I recommend we "get started" with making a pass on basics, then try and "keep up" when ever coded is added or modified).

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