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Re: XPath and find/findAll methods

From: Robin Berjon <robin@berjon.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:50:43 +0100
Cc: public-webapps@w3.org
Message-Id: <9287415B-9011-471A-9ACC-F0A62EFD3B3E@berjon.com>
To: Martin Kadlec <bs-harou@myopera.com>
On Nov 22, 2011, at 09:17 , Henri Sivonen wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 12:28 AM, Martin Kadlec <bs-harou@myopera.com> wrote:
>> Only reason why XPath is "dead" on the web is because there is not (yet) easy way to use it.
> It's worth noting that XPath in browsers is XPath 1.0 which doesn't
> have a smooth evolutionary path to XPath 2.x, so browser XPath is an
> evolutionary dead end unless forked on a different evolutionary path
> than W3C XPath.

That's a strawman. Who cares if XPath 2.x is a failure if XPath 1.0 addresses the use cases that the OP has?

Martin took the time to write to us to say that he'd like to see XPath supported. All he gets for his trouble is a bunch of rhetorical grandstanding about XPath being dead, condescension for not using CSS, a history lesson about battles long lost, and an invocation of XML Schema, which let's face it is the closest it gets to making a Godwin point on a Web mailing list.

And then we wonder why people think the standards world is hostile to developers? Has anyone considered the option that Martin might actually not be, you know, stupid and ignorant, but might actually have use cases for XPath that he'd like to see addressed? I know that asking that question might risk challenging the dogma according to which "there are no use cases for XPath", so that it's a lot more convenient to pile up against it first. But hey, maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't be in the dogma business.

Besides, something really reeks here. If XPath is dead, why does it require the combined might of James Robinson, Marcos Cąceres, Tab Atkins, and Henri Sivonen (I'm not counting Yehuda who actually replied with a rather neutral assessment) to gang up against a simple, polite suggestion?

So let's start again and do it right this time. Martin: what are your use cases for XPath that aren't addressed with the current support for CSS Selectors?

Robin Berjon - http://berjon.com/ - @robinberjon
Received on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 10:51:10 UTC

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