Xpath and DOM
orchard at pacificspirit.com
Thu Dec 16 19:50:43 GMT 1999
Leigh, I completely agree with you. I have been in some discussions about
this already so I'll try to relay what I've heard.
About 6 weeks ago, I asked Lauren Wood about DOM implementing XPath. My
version of her answer is "Nobody asked for it for Level 2 or Level 3, and
Level 2 is too late now. Nobody volunteered to write it for the DOM Spec".
There's no technical reason why getElementByXPathExpr couldn't be added.
I asked some of the other IBM XML standards reps about this and my version
of their answer is "XPath is a query language, and we've got a better query
language coming. Why support an inferior query language now when we'll have
to support the better one soon. Additionally, why should the DOM be the
bucket for all API gorp? Query should be built on top of the DOM so we can
have layered parsers".
On one hand, I want an interoperable getElementByXPathExpr, but I understand
the political and technical reasons why the DOM group isn't rushing to
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-xml-dev at ic.ac.uk [mailto:owner-xml-dev at ic.ac.uk]On Behalf Of
> Leigh Dodds
> Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 1999 5:32 AM
> To: xml-dev
> Subject: Xpath and DOM
> At present the DOM spec only allows one to traverse the
> tree 'manually' using getChild, etc. Or jump into the
> tree at some point using getElementsByTagName.
> Theres nothing in there to allow me to do getElementsByExpression
> (accepting an XPath search expression), or similarly pull out
> sections of the DOM tree using XPath expressions.
> I've written basic utilities to do this, as have others I'm sure
> (XSLT engines must use something similar), but I'm curious as to when, or
> even whether, this type of feature is going to be added to the
> DOM API itself.
> It would seem to be pretty useful. In the applications I've built
> so far, I've not wanted to traverse or walk the tree, just pick
> out bits of it (and sure I could use SAX but I want the tree
> in memory because I'm manipulating it multiple times).
> Unless I'm asking the wrong question - is there a tool that will
> search a DOM tree for me, assuming I supply it with an XPath
> "Never Do With More, What Can Be Achieved With Less"
> ---William of Occam
> Leigh Dodds Eml: ldodds at ingenta.com
> ingenta ltd Tel: +44 1225 826619
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