Saxon 8.5 with collection()

Via Cafeconleche some really good news about the new version of Saxon.

Michael Kay has released version 8.5 of Saxon, his XSLT 2.0 and XQuery processor. Saxon 8.5 is published in two versions for both of which Java 1.4 or later is required. Saxon 8.5B is an open source product published under the Mozilla Public License 1.0 that “implements the 'basic' conformance level for XSLT 2.0 and XQuery.” Saxon 8.5SA is a £250.00 payware version that “allows stylesheets and queries to import an XML Schema, to validate input and output trees against a schema, and to select elements and attributes based on their schema-defined type. Saxon-SA also incorporates a free-standard XML Schema validator. In addition Saxon-SA incorporates some advanced extensions not available in the Saxon-B product. These include a try/catch capability for catching dynamic errors, improved error diagnostics, support for higher-order functions, and additional facilities in XQuery including support for grouping, advanced regular expression analysis, and formatting of dates and numbers.” Besides bug fixes, version 8.5 adds Unicode normalization and enables the collection() function to process a directory.

The collection() function is of interest because it gives XSLT the ability to read a file system metadata without any prior knowledge of the file system, like in the document() function. This was one of the useful things Cocoon does really well via the directory generator. Anyhow, more details can be found on the Xml hack blog including exactly how to call the function.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and