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XPath 2.0 Programmer's Reference Paperback – Aug 27 2004


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From the Back Cover

From its origins as a sublanguage of XSLT, XPath has come into its own as a key element of XML. XPath 2.0 has emerged as a robust language twice the size of its predecessor, complex and capable of standing on its own.

This substantive volume, by the editor of the W3C® XSLT 2.0 specification, is the authoritative reference on XPath 2.0. It begins by thoroughly explaining the foundations, including XML schema and the evaluation context. Building on this knowledge, it then moves through literals and function calls, basic operators, path expressions, types, and the regular expressions of three new functions that greatly boost the power of XPath 2.0.

What you will learn from this book

  • Top-level constructs and the lexical rules for using whitespace and comments
  • Basic operators for writing arithmetic and Boolean expressions
  • Three operators for combining the results of path expressions: union, intersect, and except
  • How XPath 2.0 supports sequences
  • Where to access a complete listing of all functions in the core function library
  • How to define the syntax of XPath regular expressions as used in the new functions matches(), replace(), and tokenize(), and much more

Who this book is for

This book is for experienced programmers who use XPath 2.0 and want a comprehensive understanding of it at every level. A basic knowledge of XML and Web architecture is essential.

Wrox Programmer’s References are designed to give the experienced developer straight facts on a new technology, without hype or unnecessary explanations. They deliver hard information with plenty of practical examples to help you apply new tools to your development projects today.

About the Author

Michael Kay has been working in the XML field since 1997; he became a member of the XSLWorking Group soon after the publication of XSLT 1.0, and took over as editor of the XSLT 2.0 specification in early 2001. He is also a member of the XQueryWorking Group, and is a joint editor of the XPath 2.0 specification. He is well known not only through previous editions of this book, but also as the developer of the open-source Saxon product, a pioneering implementation of XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0, and XQuery 1.0.
The author has recently formed his own company, Saxonica, to provide commercial software and services building on the success of the Saxon technology. Previously, he spent three years with Software AG, working with the developers of the Tamino XML server, a leading XQuery implementation. His background is in database technology: after leaving the University of Cambridge with a Ph.D., he worked for many years with the (then) computer manufacturer ICL, developing network, relational, and object-oriented database software products as well as a text search engine, and held the position of ICL Fellow.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This is how the XPath 2.0 specification describes the language: XPath 2.0 is an expression language that allows the processing of values conforming to the [XPath] data model. . . Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 11 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Complete and authoritative reference, terrible format Aug. 1 2007
By Timothy W. Crews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never had a question about XPath that wasn't answered by this book. I appreciate having an authoritative reference written by someone who was deeply involved in the development of the standard.

However, this book (and its companion XSLT reference) is perhaps the worst-formatted reference book I have ever seen. Much of the book consists of an alphabetical reference of XPath functions. Unfortunately, the page headers and footers only contain page numbers and chapter titles. They do not contain the name of the function that is described on that page. So you can't just riff through the pages watching for your function to appear in the footer.

There is a heading for each function name, but the font used for the sub-headings are as large as (if not larger than) the major headings. There are no page breaks between functions. So you can't even visually scan the pages looking for your functions.

Finally, the table of contents consists largely of function names on the left, with page numbers on the right, separated by about five inches. But there are no dot leaders between them. So, even when you resort to using the table of contents to find the section you need, you have to use a ruler to find the page number.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very in-depth Nov. 20 2004
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is, as you would expect from Michael Kay, an excellent and extremely in-depth work on XPath 2.0. From the basics of the object and typing model, through the syntax and into a function reference. In my opinion most average XSLT users could probably get away with the XPath coverage in Michael's other book XSLT 2.0 for Programmers. But for those implementing XPath, or who are using it as a central architectural mechanism, you will want the in-depth coverage in this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The basics, clear and there Jan. 23 2006
By M. P. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After stumbling around trying to a handle on XSLT, I finally realized that a big chunk was not being explained within the XSLT books. Most of the XSLT books bring XPath statements out of hat like a magician's rabbit -- there is no way one can figure out what to do in any given situation. Thanks to this book, what was mystery meat is now clear as a bell. In the first nine pages, a dozen questions were answered. I don't see how you can do serious XPath and XSLT without this book in hand.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive and complete coverage of XPath Jan. 1 2006
By David Douglass - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must have for anybody working with XPath, even XPath 1.0. Michael Kay starts at the beginning with a complete review of the underlying concepts behind XPath and continues through with all the details of how to use XPath day-by-day. Along the way he points out a lot of gotchas that you're sure to get burned by if you're not aware of them. Throughout he carefully explains what is applicable to version 1.0 vs. 2.0 and highlights the breaking changes between the two versions.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Written by an expert for the wannabes. Oct. 11 2004
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is destined to be the prefered reference. It is well written in great depth and detail. You will however almost definitely want the XSLT 2.0 by the same author if you are new to this area as the examples in this book are more extensive with case studies, as opposed to the code snippets you'll find in here.

The book is not a tutorial, but instead aims at complete and detailed coverage and describing the differences between 1.0 and 2.0.


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