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   Re: [xml-dev] Question for the XPath and DOM folks

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[Dare Obasanjo]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: J. David Eisenberg [mailto:catcode@catcode.com]
> Sent: Sat 7/20/2002 1:41 PM
> To: Dare Obasanjo
> Cc: Uche Ogbuji; Garland foster; xml-dev@lists.xml.org
> Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Question for the XPath and DOM folks
> >>This is a bit unnerving - what else does msxml3 disagree with the others
> >>on that could lead to a really big difference?
> >As I see it, that's a much more important question to answer rather than
> >whether it's a DOM node or who its parents and children are.
> a.) This is not a more important question.
> b.) An explanation for this behavior has already been posted by Garland

The point is not that is has been explained, it is about predictability.
Presumably, msxml is running an xpath process on its DOM and returns only
the first of the DOM's character nodes.  But this is an xslt application,
not DOM.  So it ought to be following the XPATH rec, not DOM, even if they
use DOM to implement it.  The other xslt processors behave differently,
apparently following the XPATH/XSLT Recs.

What we need more than anything is predicatability.  Right now it seems that
I cannot predict when mxsml follows the DOM Rec and when it follows the
XPath Rec.  Not good.  More importantly, we need to be able to understand
and predict what will happen when we apply an xpath expression.  We should
NOT have to know how it is implemented behind the scenes to know the results
(I mean whether it is implemented with a pure w3c DOM model or not).

I agree that it could be hard to define exactly what kind of nodes may be
returned by an xpath query over a DOM, although I think that you could argue
that whatever they are they should implement a DOM interface.

However, if markup is about anything it is about character data. Anyone who
thinks it is acceptable for an xpath query to return different sets of
characters depending on whether it is applied to a DOM or a document version
of the same thing has really lost his way in the real world.


Tom P


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