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   Re: [xml-dev] Xpath Question

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At 2003-07-25 10:42 -0700, Dare Obasanjo wrote:
>One of our devs just made me question all that's right in the world with
>the question below. Given the following XML
>   <b>bold</b>
>   <i>italic</i>
>what is the result of the following XPath expression
>"count(/pre/child::node())" ?
>Is the answer 2 or 5?

XPath says it is 5 because of the text nodes.  See[1] the Saxon report below.

A DTD might say the intervening white-space is ignorable, but XPath doesn't 
preserve the concept of ignorable white-space.  All white-space in XPath is 
significant, hence burdening a stylesheet writer with indicating which 
elements have ignorable white-space using <xsl:strip-space>.

A big problem teaching XSLT to users of Microsoft products is that IE 
engages MSXML throwing away *all* whitespace, which doesn't conform to 
XPath 1.0.  See[2] the IE6 report below.

I hope this helps.

.................... Ken

[1] Using Saxon:

T:\ftemp>type dare.xml

T:\ftemp>showtree dare.xml

T:\ftemp>type dare.xml.shw
SHOWTREE Stylesheet - http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/resources/
Processor: SAXON 6.5.2 from Michael Kay
1  Element 'pre':
1.I  Namespace 'xml': {http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace}
1.1  Text (pre): {
1.2  Element 'b' (pre):
1.2.I  Namespace 'xml': {http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace}
1.2.1  Text (pre,b): {bold}
1.3  Text (pre): {
1.4  Element 'i' (pre):
1.4.I  Namespace 'xml': {http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace}
1.4.1  Text (pre,i): {italic}
1.5  Text (pre): {

[2] Using MSXML through IE6 and copying the screen contents to the clipboard:

T:\ftemp>type dare-ms.xml
<?xml-stylesheet href="showtree.msxsl" type="text/xsl"?>

T:\ftemp>copy con nul
SHOWTREE Stylesheet

1 Proc. Inst. 'xml-stylesheet' (): {href="showtree.msxsl" type="text/xsl"}
2 Element 'pre' ():
2.1 Element 'b' (pre):
2.1.1 Text (pre,b): {bold}
2.2 Element 'i' (pre):
2.2.1 Text (pre,i): {italic}

         1 file(s) copied.


Upcoming hands-on courses: in-house corporate training available;
North America public:  XSL-FO Aug 4,2003; XSLT/XPath Aug 12, 2003

G. Ken Holman                mailto:gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com
Crane Softwrights Ltd.         http://www.CraneSoftwrights.com/x/
Box 266, Kars, Ontario CANADA K0A-2E0   +1(613)489-0999 (F:-0995)
ISBN 0-13-065196-6                      Definitive XSLT and XPath
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ISBN 1-894049-08-X  Practical Transformation Using XSLT and XPath
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Member of the XML Guild of Practitioners:    http://XMLGuild.info
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