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It is a programming language for transforming XML documents into other forms, such as RTF, HTML or PDF, etc.. This language is declarative and non-procedural (no algorithm), which makes it easier to access for non-developers. Itself written in XML, it can be reinterpreted. In fact, XSLT transforms the XML tree into rules of models describing a style sheet. It is often compared to CSS because as CSS it produces such rules, the order of appearance of these rules does not matter in the document, it also has priority when multiple rules may apply. The difference is that if a CSS is empty, it will not affect the html generated document, it will simply be ignored being only a layout, while the XSLT will generate an empty document (actually, this is not entirely true because the specification has defined internal rules still present, so the document is never really empty. :)