What do brackets [ ] mean?

Subject: What do brackets [ ] mean?
From: "alex chang" <shortestpath@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 07:53:05 EDT
I posted a problem a few days or so ago,
describing that I was trying to use:

     <xsl:when test=". = 'Transaction_Type'">
       Transaction Description
       <xsl:value-of />

I received an error:
Expected token 'eof' found '='. . -->=<-- 'Transaction_Type'

and I thought it was because of the namespace that I was using:
http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-xsl. (I know this is obsolete but the
current version of software I am using requires me to do so.)

However, a consultant came in and changed
<xsl:when test=". = 'Transaction_Type'">
<xsl:when test=".[. $eq$ 'Transaction_Type']">
and this worked!

He just left (he was working an overnight shift), but I am
anxious to know what the [ ] (with the dot inside it) means.
Also, from what I understand a $ sign is used to get the value
of a variable, but how about $eq$?

Thanks in advance,
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