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Re: XPath to identify a point in an XML document (Was: A sort of synthesis)

From: Casey Jordan <casey.jordan@jorsek.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 21:22:13 -0400
Message-ID: <CAPAQPqfFAQU7yju4K5C5ZScELshz=J0sgSVCgo6GPmyZXPvmJw@mail.gmail.com>
To: liam@w3.org
Cc: Dennis Hamilton <dennis.hamilton@acm.org>, Innovimax W3C <innovimax+w3c@gmail.com>, "public-change@w3.org" <public-change@w3.org>
I am a huge advocate of XPath and XQuery and I agree that the dot notation
that I proposed is not as feature rich as using xpath or xpointer but that
is the point. Not all systems are going to have access to a robust XPath or
XPointer implementations. I think it is fair to say that there will be more
and more web based editors, or editors built for mobile systems. Using a
very simple mechanism like a location notation based on positions is simple
and will work no matter where the system needs to be deployed.

Specifically in regards to change tracking, I am not sure what you gain
(besides problems) by using more feature a rich, but more complex system.



On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM, Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:

> On Mon, 2013-03-11 at 15:07 -0700, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:
> [...]
>
> > It appears that XPath can find a text node, but not a path to the
> > interior of that text node.  (A text node is a string and never has
> > adjacent text nodes -- it is the largest string that can be made
> > without crossing a tag.)
>
> It depends what you mean by "find" - it can return a substring; XPath 2
> (and 3) can return a (node, offset) pair if you like.
>
> >   XPath, even abbreviated XPath can be far "wordier" but it can also
> > be simpler because it can short-circuit using full paths because it is
> > based on a search model, not a strictly-navigational model.
>
> SoftQuad Panorama, years ago, used the nearest element ancestor with an
> ID attribute, if there was one, and navigated from there, since IDs tend
> to be relatively stable across document revisions.
>
> > For example, one advantage of an (augmented) XPath arrangement is the
> > ability to find attributes via XPath.  This means that one can find
> > elements by known xml:id attribute values.
> Yes, indeed.
> >  There are other aspects of XPath usage that might be used  easier to
> > confirm that the target has what is expected there (sort of the way
> > patch software often works).
> Yes, one can also use contains() to check for a string, for example.
>
> Liam
>
> --
> Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
> Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
> Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org freenode/#xml
>
>
>


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Casey Jordan
easyDITA a product of Jorsek LLC
"CaseyDJordan" on LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook
(585) 348 7399
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Received on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 01:22:42 GMT

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