Intermezzo: XSL 2.0 on .NET

I was up to updating some old stuff that I had previously written in JAVA to the .NET world. It has been a while since I worked with JAVA - I had forgotten that the XSL I once built used version 2.0 features. To my dismay .NET 3.5 allows you to control your coffee machine with a workflow, but once you want to calculate a duration directly in xsl you will quickly notice that .NET’s in-built support only covers XSL 1.0 (and XQuery not at all).

Saxon to the rescue. Probably well known to JAVA people, a .NET port exists and can be used when you find yourself in the same corner as I did.

Once you download, the funny packaging that includes a netmodule (when have you seen such a thing the last time?) resulted in my SharpDevelop IDE here at home to fail completely at recognizing the API. Visual Studio may do a better job at it.

Thanks to the docs and this very helpful code example I was able to get my Xsl Transformation up and running.

You do have to get used to the API, though, which may be pretty modular, but could be a lot better. Here is my current version (takes an input xml, an xsl and an out file as strings):

using Saxon.Api;
var p = new Processor();
var cmp = p.NewXsltCompiler();
var b = p.NewDocumentBuilder();
// Here comes the uber-fake. 
// What is it good for to set the Base Uri?
b.BaseUri = new Uri("http://" + inputFile);

using (var fsXsl = File.OpenRead(xslFoFile))
using (var fsXml = File.OpenRead(inputFile))
using (var fsOut = File.Create(outFile))
  var exec = cmp.Compile(fsXsl);
  var t = exec.Load();
  var input = b.Build(fsXml);
  t.InitialContextNode = input;
  var s = new Serializer();

Plenty of code, you may say, but it gets the job done.