RE: [xsl] Preventing tags from collapsing

Subject: RE: [xsl] Preventing tags from collapsing
From: "Andrew Welch" <ajwelch@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 10:12:25 +0100
> In our case it turns out that it is XML transforms happening
> long before
> XSL comes on the scene that are causing the minimisation.
> Although, I suppose we could then use XSL to find nodes with
> no content,
> and then 'un-minimise' them by inserting some comments text.
> Hmm.. it's
> worth a go I suppose.

Yes - the part you are concerned with here is the way that the result
tree (the result of the transformation) gets serialised.  XSLT operates
on a source tree created by the XML parser - XSLT doesn't know whether
in the XML the element was written as <foo/> or <foo></foo>, all it sees
is a node in a tree.  Equally in the result tree a node is just a node,
only when that node gets serialised is there any influence over whether
the node gets written out as <foo/> or <foo></foo>.  XSLT generates the
result tree, the serialiser operates on the result tree to produce the

If you have specified the HTML output method, then the serialiser checks
against a set of rules and will write out HTML elements correctly eg
<meta> with no closing tag as it is defined as EMPTY in the HTML DTD.
If you have specified the XHTML output method of 2.0 then the serialiser
will write out <meta /> as an empty XML element, as that how it defined
in XHTML.  The key to remember here is that in XML <foo/> and
<foo></foo> are identical - it's only when we send XML to the HTML
parser in IE that it becomes significant.


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