Xalan-Java 2.0 official release approaches
14:38, 17 Jan 2001 UTC | Michael Smith

The Apache XML Project's Xalan development team has made available a version 2.0.D07 developer's release of its Xalan-Java XSLT engine (in both zip and tgz formats) and indicated that "a finalized 2.0 release will be next if this release does well in beta trials".

A What's New page at the Xalan site gives a high-level description of Xalan-Java 2.0 goals:

Xalan-Java 2 represents a fundamental redesign of Xalan. The primary objective of this redesign is an easier-to-use, more understandable, and more modular API that encourages wider participation in its ongoing development by the open-source XML developer community, and that lends itself to "streaming," the production of transformation output while the input is still being parsed.

And a design document provides further details:

The main goals of this redesign are to:
  1. Make the design and code more understandable by Open Source people.
  2. Reduce code size and complexity.
  3. By simplifying the code, make optimization easier.
  4. Make modules generally more localized, and less tangled with other modules.
  5. Conform to the javax.xml.transform (TrAX [Transformations for XML]) interfaces.
  6. Increase the ability to incrementally produce the result tree.

The Xalan development team has not yet made available any metrics on the performance improvements in Xalan-Java 2.0. Results of comparative benchmarks testing typically show the 1.2 version underperforming relative to the two other most widely used open-source XSLT engines, James Clark's XT and Michael Kay's Saxon.

Significant performance improvements in Xalan are important, given that Apache's Web publishing framework, Apache Cocoon, relies on Xalan for dynamic transformations of XML content.

Discussions about Xalan take place on the xalan-dev mailing list (archive); subscribe by e-mailing a blank message to xalan-dev-subscribe@xml.apache.org.

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