This section gives an informal description of the syntax of XSLT patterns.
For a formal specification, see the XSLT recommendation. Pattern syntax has not
changed significantly in XSLT 2.0, except that any XPath 2.0 expression may now
be used within a predicate.
Patterns define a condition that a node may or may not satisfy: a node either matches the
pattern, or it does not. The syntax of patterns is a subset of that for
the XPath expressions, and formally, a node matches
a pattern if it is a member of the node set selected by the corresponding expression, with
some ancestor of the node acting as the current node for evaluating the expression. For example
a TITLE node matches the pattern "TITLE" because it is a member of the node set selected by the
expression "TITLE" when evaluated at the immediate parent node.
In XSLT stylesheets, patterns are used primarily in the
match attribute of the
They are also used in the
from attributes of
match attribute of
xsl:key, and the
The next page gives some examples of match patterns and their meaning, and this is followed
by a page that gives a summary of the syntax.