[xslt] Flattenning XML

I would appreciate if I can get some help on an XSLT transformation.

I need to flatten an XML tree which can be of any structure with any number of elements. (The element names in the original XML are not known) The clue to flattening it is an attribute, say 'flatten' and on its presence in the element (flatten="yes") the XSLT transformation should isolate that tree fragment and take it out of the parent tree and flatten it further. Individual pieces of the element data are collected into our own element called a "snip"

<aa flatten="yes">
    This is a test
        <bb flatten="yes">
             of things
    that can can be done in XSLT

should flatten to

<topic elemname="aa" id="pqrs" parentID="nil" >
  <snip id="xyz" parentID="pqrs" >This is a test</snip>
   <snip id="123" parentID="pqrs">that can be done in XSLT</snip>
<topic elemname="bb" id="zzz" parentID="xyz">
     <snip id="hhh" parentID="zzz">of things</snip>

As you can see, though the structure has been flattened out, I can still recreate the old XML file because the nested structure has been passed along via the attributes "id" and "parentID". The name of the original element is also passed along. They can be used to walk up the nested structure back again.

Now I've been able to achieve this partially (i.e. it works on certain kinds of XML files) but I need this to work in ALL situations.

The key portion of the XSLT I used was this:

<xsl:template name="deepCpy">
<xsl:for-each select="descendant-or-self::*/text()">
<xsl:when test="not(../@flatten )">
<xsl:call-template name="applysnip" /> <!--the template that does the creating of the snip elements -->

In the above, it is obvious that the test will pass only when the attribute 'flatten' is not present. But then such a test will detect ONLY those elements where the "flatten" attribute is given. It will not detect those elements that are not direct children of elements which have the "flatten" attribute

What else can be done?


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