Tools for creating XSLT visually do exist (e.g. Stylevision from Altova), but they're not too useful in my opinion. At least in Java or C++, you can visually build a GUI, but XSLT is not a language for building GUIs. It's a language for manipulating XML data, and it's hard to imagine a better way to convey your intent than to write it down as a sequence of templates. XSLT is a high-level language, which means the distance between the idea of a program and its actual implementation is relatively small.
I do agree that XSLT is a high-level language for manipulating XML data, so I do not expect an ideal software which can do whatever you want intelligently. A rough GUI is enough. just like JSP, most of the time, I will use DreamWaver to made those HTML presentation ready before I process to add those java things in. in this sense, Stylevision is not bad.
May tell me what are other XML software you mentioned in this chapter? just a bit curious. Thanks!
I use NetBeans for creating and editing XML. It does a fairly good job of color coding and tag completion and it provides menu actions for checking and validating the XML. It also has a built in XSLT translator.
Stylevision is, in a way, an extremity; it's really only useful for XML-to-HTML kind of XSLT, and the results from its drag-n-drop sessions are usually very rough and only usable as a starting point for further refinement. If however what you need is source-oriented editing with additional XSLT-specific conveniences, then your choice is much wider and more meaningful. Oxygen, Topologi CME, Komodo are all worth checking out, plus you have XSLT plugins or modes for tranditional IDEs and text editors (jedit, Emacs). Altova's offerings are good too, though they have the disadvantage of being Windows-only, and in my opinion they don't have so much edge over the competition as to justify that.