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This section lists terms used in the StyleVision GUI and in this documentation. Terms are organized into the groups listed below, and within each group, they are listed alphabetically.


Altova product-related terms

A list of terms that relate to Altova products.


Authentic View

An XML document editor view available in the following Altova products: Altova XMLSpy; Altova StyleVision; Altova Authentic Desktop; Altova Authentic Browser. For more details about Authentic View and Altova products, visit the Altova website.


The abbreviated form of StyleVision Power Stylesheet, it is used throughout this documentation to refer to the design document created in StyleVision and saved as a file with the .sps extension. For a detailed description, see What Is an SPS?.

Global resource

An alias for a set of files, a set of folders, or a set of databases. Each alias has a set of configurations and each configuration is mapped to a resource. In StyleVision, when a global resource is used, the resource can be changed by changing the active configuration in StyleVision.


General XML terms

Definitions of certain XML terms as used in this documentation.



A schema (with lowercase 's' ) refers to any type of schema. Schemas supported by StyleVision are XML Schema (capitalized) and DTD.

XML Schema

In this documentation, XML Schema (capitalized) is used to refer to schemas that are compliant with the W3C's XML Schema specification. XML Schema is considered to be a subset of all schemas (lowercased).


In this documentation, the more general URI is used exclusively—even when the identifier has only a "locator" aspect, and even for identifiers that use the http scheme.


XSLT and XPath terms

There have been changes in terminology from XSLT 1.0 and XPath 1.0 to XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0. For example, what was the root node in XPath 1.0 is the document node in XPath 2.0. In this documentation, we use the newest, XSLT 3.0 and XPath 3.0, terminology.


absolute XPath

A path expression that starts at the root node of the tree containing the context node. In StyleVision, when entering path expressions in dialogs, the expression can be entered as an absolute path if you check the Absolute XPath check box in the dialog. If this check box is unchecked, the path is relative to the context node.

context item /
context node

The context item is the item (node or string value) relative to which an expression is evaluated. A context node is a context item that is a node. The context item can change within an expression, for example, with each location step, or within a filter expression (predicate).

current node

The current node is the node being currently processed. The current node is the same as the context node in expressions that do not have sub-expressions. But where there are sub-expressions, the context node may change. Note that the current() function is an XSLT function, not an XPath function.

document element

In a well-formed XML document, the outermost element is known as the document element. It is a child of the document node, and, in a well-formed XML document, there is only one document element. In the GUI the document element is referred to as the root element.

document node

The document node represents and contains the entire document. It is the root node of the tree representation of the document, and it is represented in an XPath expression as: '/'. In the Schema Tree window of StyleVision, it is represented by the legend: '/ Root elements'.


StyleVision-specific terms

Terms that refer to StyleVision mechanisms, concepts, and components.


Blueprint image

A blueprint image is one that is used as the background image of a layout container, and would typically be the scan of a form. The SPS design can be modelled on the blueprint image, thus recreating the form design.

dynamic items

Items that originate in XML data sources. Dynamic items may be text, tables, and lists; also images and hyperlinks (when the URIs are dynamic).

global element

An element in the Global Elements list in the Schema Tree window. In an XML Schema, all elements defined as global elements will be listed in the Global Elements list. In a DTD, all elements are global elements and are listed in the Global Elements list. Global templates can be defined only for global elements.

global template

A global template may be defined for a global element. Once defined, a global template can be used for that element wherever that element occurs in the document. Alternatively to the global template, processing for a global element may be defined in a local template.

Layout container

A Layout Container is a design block in which design elements can be laid out and absolutely positioned. If a design is to be based on a form, it can be created as a Layout Container, so that design elements of the form can be absolutely positioned. Alternatively, a design can be free-flowing and have layout containers placed within the flow of the document.

local template

A local template is the template that defines how an element (global or non-global) is processed within the main template. The local template applies to that particular occurrence of the element in the main template. Instead of the local template, a global template can be applied to a given occurrence of an element in the main template.

main schema

One of the assigned schema sources is designated the main schema; the document node of the Working XML File associated with the main schema is used as the starting point for the main template.

main template

The main entry-point template. In StyleVision, this template matches the document element and is the first to be evaluated by the XSLT processor. In the Schema Tree window, it is listed as the child of the document node. The main template defines the basic output document structure and defines how the input document/s are to be processed. It can contain local templates and can reference global templates.


The output produced by processing an XML document with an XSLT stylesheet. Output files that can be generated by StyleVision would be HTML and  RTF format. Authentic View is not considered an output, and is referred to separately as Authentic View. XSLT stylesheets generated by StyleVision are also not considered output and are referred to separately as XSLT stylesheets.

static items

Items that originate in the SPS and not in XML data sources. Static items may be text, tables, and lists; also images, hyperlinks, and bookmarks (when the URIs are static).

SPS component

An SPS component can be: (i) a schema node (for example, an element node); (ii) a static SPS component such as an Auto-Calculation or a text string; or (iii) a predefined format (represented in the SPS by its start and end tags).


Defined loosely as a set of instructions for processing a node or group of nodes.

Template XML File

A Template XML File is assigned to an SPS in StyleVision (Enterprise and Professional editions). It is an XML file that provides the starting data of a new XML document created with a given SPS when that SPS is opened in Authentic View. The Template XML File must be conformant with the schema on which the SPS is based.

User-defined element

An element that is neither a node in the schema tree nor a predefined element or a design element, but one that is specified by the user. An element can be specified with attributes.

User-defined template

A template that is created for a sequence specified in an XPath expression.

User-defined XML
text blocks

XML Text blocks can be freely inserted at any location in the design

Working XML/XBRL  File

A Working XML/XBRL File is an XML data file that is assigned to an SPS in StyleVision in order to preview the Authentic View and output of the XML document in StyleVision. Without a Working XML/XBRL File, the SPS in StyleVision will not have any dynamic XML data to process. If the SPS is based on a schema that has more than one global element, there can be ambiguity about which global element is the document element. Assigning a Working XML/XBRL File resolves such ambiguity (because a valid XML document will, by definition, have only one document element). Note that XBRL functionality is available only in the Enterprise edition.

XML document

XML document is used in two senses: (i) to refer to a specific XML document; (ii) to refer to any XML data source, including DB sources (from which XML data documents are generated for use with an SPS). Which sense is intended should be clear from the context.




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