[xsl] How to use generate-id() inside an xsl:function without a node available?

Subject: [xsl] How to use generate-id() inside an xsl:function without a node available?
From: Abel Braaksma <abel.online@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 21:04:51 +0100
Hi List,

This seems an obvious question to ask, but I couldn't find anything on the net (but more often than not, it is a matter of wrong keywords, I am sure). The issue is this: I have a function that generates some nodes based on some strings and these nodes must receive a unique ID/IDREF value. Normally, one would use generate-id(), but inside a function (or inside anything that does not have a context node), generate-id() will fail.

My question: how can I create unique identifiers without a node in sight?

Example function (which will err):

<xsl:function name="my:dupSVGText">
  <xsl:variable name="new-id" select="generate-id()" />
  <svg:text id="{$new-id}">some text</svg:text>
  <svg:use xlink:href="#{$new-id}" y="10" />

My original function is a bit larger (ahum, counted > 100 lines today, time for refactoring...) and creates some SVG objects that reference one another, which is why I must make sure the ID for referencing the xlink:href attributes are unique within the document. Don't let the SVG and XLink upset or distract you, I just mention it to explain my use-case.

And no, there's no way that there will be a node in sight (it is really disconnected from the source document). Yes, I can use different techniques than xsl:function if needed (of course). Oh, and before I forget: I can do so with extension functions or assignable variables (saxon), but I'd rather not to.

Any ideas? It seems easy enough, but I couldn't find any (quick) resolutions.


-- Abel

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