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Description

The XSLT-Debugger plugin allows to debug XSLT stylesheets in IntelliJ IDEA with various useful features a debugger should have, including breakpoints, watch expressions, variables display, etc. It is tightly integrated with IDEA which allows it to be efficiently used without much need to familiarize first.

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An even more advanced debugging tool are trace-breakpoint. They are evaluated just like log-breakpoints, but their result isn't printed into the console. Instead, for each evaluated trace-expression, a special node in the "Structure" tree will be inserted. The contains the evaluation result and indicates the position during the execution of the stylesheet when the breakpoint was triggered.

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Next, set one or more breakpoints, either with your regular keyboard shortcut or by clicking on the left editor gutter. A breakpoint icon with a little gear will appear.

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Optionally specify any properties of the breakpoint, such as an XPath-condition on which it should trigger.

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Now it's possible to examine the values of parameters and variables, check watch expressions or evaluate custom XPath expressions in the context of the current execution-frame. See the chapters Variables and Watches more information. To inspect the output that has been generated by the stylesheet, please see the chapter XSLT Output.

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When you're done with inspecting the current position, you can either resume the execution continue debugging in single-stepping mode with the "Step Over" or "Step Into" actions. See the chapter Execution Control for more information.

Availability

The plugin is available for IntelliJ DEA IDEA 7.0 and 8.1 via the built-in plugin manager and at the IntelliJ Plugin Repository.

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Note
titleXSLT Processor

The debugger engine currently uses the SAXON 6.5.5 XSLT processor, which might cause the debugged stylesheets to work different or even incorrectly when they're designed for a another processor (e.g. Xalan), especially when extension functions are involved.

Supporting Debugging with Xalan should be is possible as well , so please tell me so I can see if there's enough demand for it. if either a compatible version of Xalan is found in the classpath or the VM argument "-Dxslt.transformer.type=xalan" is added. Note that the Xalan-support is considered beta-quality.

To switch back to SAXON even if Xalan is present, use "-Dxslt.transformer.type=saxon" to override the auto-detection.

Info
titlePlatform Issues

The plugin has so far only been tested on Windows. Although there's nothing that generally prevents using it on other platforms, the breakpoint matching logic depends on file-URLs which may look differently on Linux/Mac. Even though some effort has been put into normalizing the URLs, I don't know if it actually works everywhere.

Please let me know if there are any problems - on any platform.

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Version 1.1.2 (2007-12-21)

  • Documentation updated

Version 1.1.6 (2009-01-16)

  • Support for IDEA 8

Version 1.2.1 (2009-02-27)

  • Beta-support for debugging with Xalan

Version 1.2.2 (2009-03-06)

  • Bugfixes