Static site generation framework written in XSLT
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…is a BuildXSLT module implementing a static site generator in XSLT using InputXSLT.

The prime example of how this framework may be used to generate a static website is the implementation of my personal blog.


The src/steps directory contains a chain of transformations which are processed by the build system as specified in StaticXSLT.xml.

The first of these transformations list.xsl traverses and lists a source directory containing various levels depicting the different stages of the actual static site generation process as a base for all further processing.

Based on the results of the list.xsl transformation the next transformation plan.xsl schedules a number of different tasks to be processed by process.xsl. Examples for these tasks are cleaning a target directory, linking files and folders and of course generating transformation stylesheets contained within the various levels of the source tree.

After the various tasks are processed by process.xsl the results of all tasks are summarized by summarize.xsl to provide the user with a easy to read plain-text output.


The StaticXSLT.xml file defines a BuildXSLT module which may be called by StaticXSLT based applications as follows:

<task type="module">
	<input mode="embedded">
	<definition mode="file">[StaticXSLT.xml]</definition>

In this example the input tree defines both the source and target directories relative to the working directory of the ixslt executable which is required to make use of the external functions provided by InputXSLT. The square brackets around the StaticXSLT.xml filename are instructing the custom include entity resolver to resolve the given path against the include path array provided to ixslt. This means that StaticXSLT based websites may be generated as follows:

ixslt --input make.xml --transformation ../BuildXSLT/build.xsl --include ../StaticXSLT


A level is simply a folder within a given source directory which may in turn contain a arbitrary number of transformations and source documents inside subfolders. All transformations within these levels are processed by the StaticXSLT transformation chain which handles datasource dependency resolution and preserves the correct result path context. Levels are processed according to their alphabetic order. Subfolders of level directories that do not contain any XSLT stylesheets and non-stylesheet files are automatically symlinked to their appropriate target directory.

Data Source and target resolution:

Every transformation contained in one of the levels contains a meta variable defining the required data sources and target paths. This information is read during task processing by the process.xsl transformation and used to provide each transformation with the data sources it requires and write the output to the path it desires. This definition of requirements and targets directly inside each transformation is an essential part of how this static site generation concept works.

The system currently provides a couple of different data source reading modes such as full for reading a complete XML file as input, iterate for iterating the second-level elements of a given XML source and expression for evaluating a arbitrary XPath expression against a given XML file. Target modes include plain for writing a the result into a given file at the appropriate target level and xpath for evaluating a XPath expression to generate the target path. This XPath evaluation functionality in combination with the iterate data source mode is especially helpful in situations where one wants to generate multiple output files from a single transformation such as when generating article pages or the pages of the article stream.