XSLT Version 2.0 Is Turing-Complete: A Purely Transformation Based Proof

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Abstract

XSLT version 2.0 has the full power of a Turing machine, i.e. it is “Turing-complete.” We show this is so by implementing a universal Turing machine emulator stylesheet in XSLT. We use only the constructs available in the official XSLT version 2.0 recommendation of the World Wide Web Consortium. Furthermore, we do not resort to string functions (which are also available in XSLT) but rather rely on the innate transformational capabilities of XSLT.