Like to use XSLT 2.0? Move to Saxon!
For many years I am using XSLT now for a lot of tasks in both, development and runtime environments: Source generation, creating HTML from XML data, or even rendering SVG vector graphics from XML finance data. But what really bothered me was that the XSLT transformer contained in Java (even in Java 6's latest release) was just able to do XSLT 1.0 but not XSLT 2.0. XSLT (and XPath) 2.0 comes with such a plethora of features that makes coding so much easier, like calling XSLT-written functions from XPath, "real" loops (instead of recursive calls) or dealing with sequences and many more. I couldn't wait any longer to get it, so the question was: What to do?
I knew that for several years there was that SAXON product around, and it was free for open source use. Okay, since my only need is Open Source, the licence won't be not a problem. But I was uncertain about technical constraints: Will I have to change my code? Will my XSLT still work? Do I have to rewrite half of my app? I didn't liked the idea that I have to rewrite lots of code places or ask all users to overhaul their XSLT documents.
Nothing at all. Today, after months of senseless waiting for a XSLT 2.0 update to Java 6 (suspended for long time while waiting for the Oracle deal), I didn't want to wait any longer! So I just downloaded the latest Open Source release of SAXON 9.2 from SourceForge, copied the sole saxon9he.jar to the JRE's lib/ext folder, and restarted my app... And it worked perfectly just out of the box!
There's nothing to change or to configure, just drop the JAR in the right folder and you're done: Great! How could deployment be any easier?
So don't wait any longer - download SAXON and enjoy XSLT 2.0's benefits.