XML Document to ascii text file

G. Ken Holman gkholman at CraneSoftwrights.com
Tue Jun 15 09:14:56 BST 1999

At 99/06/08 14:17 -0400, Didier PH Martin wrote:
>Can you explain how with just a simple example. Let's say the XML document
> This is the title
>One upon a time...
>How would you transform this XML document above into a plain asci text? Can
>you show it with a XSL script?

A set of "plain ASCII text" semantics has been implemented in XT under the
namespace URI "java:com.jclark.xsl.sax.NXMLOutputHandler".

Using this set of semantics I have created XSL scripts that generate MSDOS
batch files and other text files.  These semantics provide for emitting
characters such as "&" and "<" in a clear form (very helpful when writing
batch files with input redirection).  It also gives control over the
emitted character encoding so that single-character accented letters can be
output without having them be two-character UTF-8 encodings.  For these
reasons, I feel James' NXML meets a need not met just by using a text
subset of an output XML file.

For example, using your document above I have a session below that attempts
to illustrate what can be done.  

James has some documentation in his http://www.jclark.com/xml/xt.html file.

It happens this is also covered briefly with another example in a chapter
of my XSL training material included in my free preview excerpt (the first
three chapters) available from our web site ... it is a free excerpt of:

  Introduction to XSLT (XSL Transformations)
  Third Edition - 1999-06-08 - ISBN 1-894049-00-4
  Copyright (C) 1999 Crane Softwrights Ltd.
  205 Pages / $40.00 US dollars / Includes free updates

I have received requests to add more detail to the documentation for this
non-XML (NXML) environment, so that will be made available in a future
edition (all future editions are available at no charge to all existing

I hope this helps.

.............. Ken

T:\didier>type test.xml
<?xml version="1.0"?>
This is the title
One upon a time...
T:\didier>type test.xsl
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/XSL/Transform/1.0"

<xsl:template match="text()"/>

<xsl:template match="/">
  <nxml encoding="Latin1">

<xsl:template match="title">
  <char number="60"/>
  <char number="60"/>
  <char number="60"/>TITLE<char number="62"/>
  <char number="62"/>
  <char number="62"/><xsl:value-of select="."/>

<xsl:template match="par">
  <xsl:value-of select="."/>


T:\didier>call xsl test.xml test.xsl test.txt
T:\didier>type test.txt
This is the title

One upon a time...


G. Ken Holman                  mailto:gkholman at CraneSoftwrights.com
Crane Softwrights Ltd.           http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/x/
Box 266, Kars, Ontario CANADA K0A-2E0  +1(613)489-0999  (Fax:-0995)
Website: XSL/XML/DSSSL/SGML services outline,  XSL/DSSSL shareware,
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