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Querying XML by Stephen Buxton, Jim Melton

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Chapter 9

XPath 1.0 and XPath 2.0

9.1 Introduction

The XML Path Language – XPath, as it is more commonly known – was first published as a recommendation1 by the W3C in 1999. According to its specification, XPath was created “to provide a common syntax for functionality shared between XSL Transformations [XSLT] and XPointer” (see Chapter 7, “Managing XML: Transforming and Connecting”), and its purpose is “to address parts of an XML document.” Like nearly all of the W3C specifications, XPath “operates on the abstract, logical structure of an XML document, rather than its surface syntax.”

What does it mean to say that XPath is used to “address parts of an XML document”? If we simply replace address with locate or identify or even point to, the ...

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