I finally got around to reading the

XML Files
article in the

March issue
of
MSDN
magazine
┬áthis week. Now there wasn’t much new here (though
I’m seeing an increasing number of references to XSLT as a
functional programming language – I’m afraid I didn’t get that unit
in my degree course so it proved to be true that I wouldn’t know a
FPL even when it had been hitting me in the face for ages) but I
hadn’t run into the XSLT 1.0 Extension mechanism directly before. I
had used the

<msxml:script>
extension in the past and dismissed it for
making poorly performing templates (using the active script
engines) but with both MSXML4 and the .NET Framework classes you
can provide compiled extensions. A reasonable solution for those
times when you want to url encode strings in XSLT? Perhaps. And of
course all those other little things you just wish were included in
XPath.