Arbalo XSLT Framework


  1. Motivation
  2. Features
  3. Build your own XSLT stylesheet
  4. Examples

Although all modern browsers understand XSLT stylesheets 1 , they are hardy ever used. This framework shall close the gap. Use it as a quarry to create your own XSLT stylesheets.


  • A good part of the navigation of a HTML page may be generated   statically  from XHTML code. For this purpose XSLT is adequate. Everybody uses CSS stylesheets. Use XSLT stylesheets additionally which offer more possibilities to unify the style of your presentation.
  • By relocating routine jobs from the server to the client, the server application is simplified and becomes dispensable in case of typical presentations.
  • Disburden your javascript code from everything that can be done statically.
  • HTML overcharged by navigation can neither be edited using a simple editor nor can information be extracted from it for the purpose of reuse (mash-up).


  • The Arbalo framework supports presentations, essays and articles.
  • It transforms source texts from XHTML to XHTML by the use of stylesheets in XSLT.
  • It is supplemented by CSS style sheets.
  • It enriches XHTML by automatically generated elements and attributes particularly for navigation.
  • Thereby it simplifies the source text so that it is easier to read and can be edited using a simple editor, which should support XML. It can be transformed easier to other formats (e. g. to Wikipedia format).
  • It supports directives  in the source document that control the framework (e. g. footnotes, inclusion ).
  • It frames the page by using HTML divisions <div>…</div> instead <frameset><frame>…
  • It supports some microformats 2 .
  • It has a built-in reader for Atom feeds.
  • It renders the same source text either as a presentation consisting of multiple pages or as an all-in-one document. .
  • It is applicable for authors having different levels of XSLT skill . It may be used:
    • As it is, without need for programming XSLT.
    • Using parameters: The XSLT style sheet is called with parameters, which in simple cases just switch properties on or off.
    • Using inheritance: Parts of the given imported XSLT style sheet are overwritten by implementations of your own.
    • It may inspire you to develop XSLT solutions of your own.
  • Using the same source text, it allows
    • Compilation: The XHTML sources *.xml are enriched by means of an XSLT processor like XALAN or SAXON and transformed to XHTML documents *.html the browser will render.
      • Good for debugging.
      • Even deprecated browsers can render the result.
    • Interpretation: The XHTML source (*.xml) are transformed and rendered by the browser directly. (All modern browsers are able to do this.)
      • Every change is immediately effective without compilation.
      • If the master document has been changed, the document files reflect the changes without the need for changing them, too.
      This manual is an example for interpretation.
  • It is compatible with Javascipt and logic on the server.

Build your own XSLT stylesheet


If this page is displayed as index.xml in the adress field of your browser, you are viewing an example of a presentation interpreted by the Arbalo framework. Click the right mouse button for seeing how much work it does for you!. If this page is displayed as index.html , however, you are viewing the compiled version. If you are looking into the source text you will find the generated sections, too.

The reference application of this framework is available interpreted 3 as well as compiled 4

Normally there is only one of both variants on the server, either the compiled or interpreted one.

1  W3C XSL Transformations (XSLT)

2 Microformats

3 Reference application Battle at Arbalo , interpreted

4 Reference application Battle at Arbalo , compiled