Anyone working with XML content can benefit from learning XPath. XPath is the way that elements are identified and located inside an XML Document. Want to find the first title in your document? Or the fifth? Or the 2nd one that also has those 3 special notes following it?
Stylesheets are easier if you understand how to write an XPath expression. It just takes practice to learn how to structure the question that you use an XPath expression to answer.
G. Ken Holman of Crane Softwrights is the undisputed expert in teaching XSLT and XPath. Video recordings of his training classes are on Udemy (launch with the coupon). And now that the entire course is only $50, there's no reason not to take some time to learn it.
Prefer Book Learnin' to Video?
If you're looking for a book on the subject, this is the one we always recommend: "Definitive XSLT and XPath" by G. Ken Holman. Everything you want to know about XPath is in this book. Once you understand XPath, XSLT is well within your reach. You can find Ken's book on his website and on Amazon:
If you prefer a tutor..
We teach XSLT the way Ken does. In fact, we learned it all from him, way back in the day (oh, so long ago). Nowadays, it's rare to spot Ken in the wild, but if you ever find him teaching in your area, we highly recommend trying to get a seat in his class.
In the meantime, we're here for you! Like Ken, we believe XSLT belongs to all of us. All it takes is a little training. It's not only for the expert practitioners and consultants.
We know that a lot of the other software vendors and consultants prefer to keep control of the XSLT coding and skill development, they like to tell you to come back to them when you're ready for changes to your stylesheet.
We don't. We want you to be able to take ownership of your stylesheets. We've always taken that stance. Our customers want to do things themselves, but they don't want to do it alone. We don't hang you out to dry and we don't require that you leave the programming to us.
With us, there's a third option: Watch Ken's videos on Udemy. Think of them as the professor in the lecture hall, then book mentoring time with us. You can't ask questions of a video, but you can ask us! Think of us as your discussion section TA.
Don't be afraid of your stylesheets. You can learn to maintain them. And we will be here to assist you while you master this new skill.
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