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Heron-Centric: Ruminations of a Language Designer
XSLT: The Other Programming Language in your Browser
by Christopher Diggins
October 30, 2005
Most web-browsers today come with EcmaScript ( ie. JavaScript) built-in. Did you know another very powerful language came with Internet Explorer and Firefox?


XSLT is a surpringly powerful and criminally overlooked declarative programming language which comes standard with the latest versions Internet Exploer and Firefox, with extensions available for other browsers.

I, like many others, dismissed XSLT as being simply another stylesheet notation, but it is actually a full featured declarative language. It took me a fair amount of time to get the hang of using XSLT as a programming language, but my gosh is it ever powerful! Believe it or not I am currently building a JavaScript to C++ translator using XSLT, and it is progressing very well.

If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of XSLT, I recommend checking out:

  1. W3schools XSLT Tutorial
  2. Bob DuCharme's column at
  3. W3C XSLT Specification
  4. Mulberry Tech XSLT Mailing List

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About the Blogger

Christopher Diggins is a software developer and freelance writer. Christopher loves programming, but is eternally frustrated by the shortcomings of modern programming languages. As would any reasonable person in his shoes, he decided to quit his day job to write his own ( ). Christopher is the co-author of the C++ Cookbook from O'Reilly. Christopher can be reached through his home page at

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2005 Christopher Diggins. All rights reserved.

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