Re: [xsl] How do I not ignore whitespace when sorting?

Subject: Re: [xsl] How do I not ignore whitespace when sorting?
From: "Mark Wilson" <drmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 11:08:08 -0500
Thanks for a quick response Michael. I'm using Saxon 8. Will look into translate().


----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Kay" <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 10:37 AM
Subject: RE: [xsl] How do I not ignore whitespace when sorting?

Collating sequences in XSLT 1.0 are entirely implementation-defined. There's
a strong suggestion in the spec that the system should choose a collation
appropriate to the natural language in use. Conventions for handling spaces
and punctuation within the strings to be sorted are notoriously variable,
but ignoring spaces is quite common, and certainly not incorrect: if I look
up "ad hoc" in a dictionary, I expect to find it between "adhesive" and

In 2.0 there's a more formal mechanism for identifying the collation you
want to be used, but it's still essentially implementation-defined what
collations are available with a particular product.

You might find that a pragmatic solution is to use translate() to modify the
characters in the string before sorting.

Michael Kay

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Wilson [mailto:drmark@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: 18 December 2005 15:29
To: xsl-list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [xsl] How do I not ignore whitespace when sorting?

Thanks for all the help with my previous question. This is my
first week
with XSLT, so please forgive my not knowing where to look. I
have tracked
down many comments on sorting, but failed to find one to answer the

I am trying to sort a library subject catalog. I finally
realized that the
default <xsl:sort> was ignoring whitespace within the value
of the element.
The order I get is:
Catalogs. Austria
Catalogs -- Zepplins

when I what I want is:
Catalogs -- Zepplins
Catalogs. Austria.
( for the *space* at the end of 'catalogs ' to file before
the *period* at
the end of 'catalogs.'

I was able to demonstrate to myself that white space is
ignored when I
inserted a *space within* the word 'cat alogs' and still got
this result:
Catalogs. Austria
Cat alogs -- Zepplins

Since this means that everyone would have serious problems
sorting things
like "Art tissue" and Artisians", I assume there must be a way.
Can I, and if so how do I, tell <xsl:sort> not to ignore
whitespace? Do I
need a special external colation?

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