Patterns and location paths

James Clark jjc at
Fri Apr 30 05:10:21 BST 1999

Kay Michael wrote:
> > Richard Tobin [mailto:richard at] wrote
> > it appears that
> >
> >    foo//bar[5]
> >
> > means different things depending on where it appears.
> >
> > As a location path (see section 6.1), it selects a bar element that is
> > a descendent of a foo child of the current node, and that is the fifth
> > such element in document order.
> >
> > As a pattern (see section 6.3), it matches a bar element that is a
> > descendent of a foo element, and that is the fifth foo child of its
> > parent.
> >
> Actually, as a pattern it seems to mean different things depending which
> explanation you read. Arguably the sentence below production [52] "A pattern
> is defined to match a node..." is definitive, in which case by definition
> the pattern means the same thing in both contexts. If this is true, however,
> the "it is easy to understand" explanation that follows appears to be
> incorrect.

If there is a case where the definition and the following explanation
don't coincide, then that's a bug in the spec.  I don't know of any such
cases.  If you find one, please send a precise description to
xsl-editors at


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