Chapter 5. Querying XML with XPath

The XML Path Language (XPath) is a language that allows you to easily perform searches against XML documents using a path-like string. XPath searches return individual nodes or collections of nodes based on expressions. XPath does not use XML syntax. In fact, it is not a procedural programming language in the normal sense; there is no concept of control flow. XPath expressions are usually single strings. XPath does, however, support some functional manipulation (usually found in programming languages) but one doesn’t write XPath scripts or programs. Instead, one writes XPath expressions that are evaluated against XML documents and result in node lists being returned. In this chapter, we discuss the origin of XPath, as well as its syntax, capabilities, and how it is used from within Python.

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