Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Getting started with XProc using Eclipse

This post looks at how to get started with Norm Walsh's XProc implementation - using Eclipse.

XProc is an XML Pipeline Language, which is being defined by the folks at the XML Processing Model Working Group. Norm has an experimental implementation, hosted at The release notes are here.

Naturally enough, this is as a Netbeans project - but I thought I'd give it a try using Eclipse. It was pretty easy in the end:
  1. Start your favourite Eclipse version - I used 3.3
  2. Add in a Subversion plugin (since uses subversion). I've been using Subclipse lately. See for more details.
  3. Point your SVN explorer to the repository
  4. Check out as a new Java Project using the Wizard.
  5. Download (some of) the required frameworks ... I found that I could get by with Saxon 6.5 and Saxon 9 to get started. Add these .jars to the build path. Also note that you should add saxon9-s9api.jar as well as saxon9.jar.
  6. Adjust the build path - so that these two directories are used as the java source:


    The second is required, since a number of configuration files are referenced using a path like /etc/configuration.xml and as such, they need to be findable on the classpath. Eclipse will make sure that you exclude java/src from this include. Your classpath should look something like this:

  7. I used the xproc.Driver class to do a simple test. It was not long before I realized that things were not happy due to my running on a Windows box. I needed to change this line:

    hash.put(port, "file://" + fn);

    to this:

    hash.put(port, "file://" + "/" + fn);

  8. I then needed to use this sort of command line arguments:

    -i source=c:\fred.xml java/samples/count.xpl

  9. This just runs the count pipeline against a simple xml document.

Here's a screenshot of the project contents:

Note that some errors are shown (since not all required libraries are provided), and that all three of the saxon libs are required.

And for good measure, here's a screen shot of a successful run: