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> OK, but any union has the same effect of "loosing" the reverse order,
> even (preceding-sibling::*|preceding-sibling::*) and that's pure
> XPath :-)
It's not the union: it's the brackets
(preceding-sibling::*) is the nearest sibling
(preceding-sibling::*) is teh first sibling.
as the parenthesised expression is evaluated as an Xpath value, hence a
node set , so  then sorts that node set and takes the first, whereas
teh first form is a step expression in which the current node list is in
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