The specifications for XSLT have been considerably more active than the specifications for XSL as a whole. The XSLT 1.0 recommendation was made final November 16, 1999, and that's the version that forms the backbone of XSLT today. Some improvements were made in the next version, XSLT 1.1, which is currently in working draft form (note that the currently available XSLT software supports only XSLT 1.0):
The result tree fragment data type, supported in XSLT 1.0, was eliminated.
The output method no longer has complete freedom to add namespace nodes, because a process of namespace fixup is applied automatically.
Support for XML Base was added.
Multiple output documents are now supported with the <xsl:document> element.
The <xsl:apply-imports> element is now allowed to have parameters.
Extension functions can now be defined using the <xsl:script> function.
Extension functions are now allowed to return external objects, which do not correspond to any of the XPath data types.
Even though XSLT 1.1 is only in working draft stage, the W3C has raced ahead and released the requirements for XSLT 2.0. The following list gives you an overview of the goals for XSLT 2.0:
Add more support for the use of XML Schema-typed content with XSLT
Simplify manipulation of string content
Make it easier to use XSLT
Improve internationalization support
Maintain backward compatibility with XSLT 1.1
Support improved processor efficiency
This article has given you an overview and set the stage for you to delve into working with XSLT, now that you've reviewed its history and gotten a look ahead at its future.