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Unformatted text preview: . . Winter 2008 CPE/CSC 366: Database Modeling, Design and Implementation Alexander Dekhtyar . . XPath Introduction XPath is a language for addressing parts of XML documents. It has been designed within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and has a status of a W3C Recommendation (Version 1.0, a de-facto standard). Complete XPath Recommendation can be found here: http://www.w3.org/TR/xpath XPath Essentials XPath is designed to address well-formed parts of XML documents. It is de- signed to be used in URIs (Universal Resource Identifiers), and therefore, it has a non-XML syntax. XPath gives two ways of expressing paths: full syntax and abbreviated syntax . In full syntax , an XPath expression consists of a sequence of location steps separated by a / (slash). The basic anatomy of an XPath expression, and of a location step is shown below: XPath ::= [/] LocationStep [/ LocationStep]* LocationStep ::= AxisName :: [NodeTest] [ [Predicate]] Here: AxisName: is the name of the type of a one-step traversal through the XML (DOM) tree. NodeTest: describes the names of the XML elements of interest on current step. Predicate: specifies additional selection conditions on the nodes for the next step. 1 Axes XPath expressions describe the traversal of the XML tree. An XPath axis is one step in the traversal. A context node is a node in the XML (DOM) tree that is current on the path. Axis Meaning 1 ancestor proceed to the ancestors of context node(s) 2 ancestor-or-self ancestor or self 3 attribute proceed to the attributes of context node(s) 4 child proceed to children of context node(s) 5 descendant proceed to descendants of context node in the DOM tree...
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