The xsl:result-document element was introduced in XSLT 2.0, replacing the previous extension element saxon:output. It is used to direct output to a secondary output destination.

The format attribute is optional. If present, it gives the name of an xsl:output element that describes the serialization format for this output document; if absent, the unnamed xsl:output declaration is used.

The href attribute gives the URI for the result document. If this is a relative URI, it is interpreted relative to the base output URI. The base output URI is the systemID of the Result object supplied as the destination for the transformation, or if you are using the command line, the value of the -o flag. If the href attribute is omitted, the document is written to the location identified by the base output URI: this will only work if all the output produced by the stylesheet is within the scope of an xsl:result-document instruction.

If the base output URI is not known, then the current directory is used, unless the configuration disables calling of extension functions, in which case it is assumed that the stylesheet is not trusted to overwrite files relative to the current directory, and an error is then reported.

This base output URI must be a writable location. Usually it will therefore be a URI that uses the "file:" scheme. However, Saxon attempts to open a connection whatever URI scheme is used, and it should therefore work with any URI where the Java VM has the capability to open a writable connection. Users have reported success in using "ftp:" and "mailto:" URIs.

The optional validation and type attributes determine what happens to any type annotations on element or attribute nodes. These values must not be used in the basic Saxon product.

The xsl:result-document instruction may also take serialization attributes such as method, indent, or saxon:indent-spaces. These attributes may be AVTs, so the values can be decided at run-time. Any values specified on the xsl:result-document instruction override the values specified on the xsl:output declaration.

Here is an example that uses xsl:result-document:

<xsl:template match="preface"> <xsl:result-document href="{$dir}/preface.html" method="html"> <html><body bgcolor="#00eeee"><center> <xsl:apply-templates/> </center><hr/></body></html> </xsl:result-document> <a href="{$dir}/preface.html">Preface</a> </xsl:template>

Here the body of the preface is directed to a file called preface.html (prefixed by a constant that supplies the directory name). Output then reverts to the previous destination, where an HTML hyperlink to the newly created file is inserted.