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No offense intended here to either the authors of this, or the W3C's documentation, but, Huh!? I fully understand the need for precise wording when talking about such complicated issues, and I don't necessarily advocate the dumbing-down of these topics to a 5th grade level, but surely a middle ground could be reached. A large portion of people who will be reading this page are going to be Web Developers. Dreamweaver jockeys wanting to figure out all this XML craziness. A big thing that's missing here is; What is it good for? Who needs it? First in technical terms, then in layman's terms. I only state this here on the discussion page so that I can gauge opinion on the subject before I make any changes to the current page.

  • Actually, someone with spare time and a good understanding of it should elaborate on the example, imho. This is not a 'dumbed down' article, but it does resemble a stub.
    • I have to agree--with both of you. In particular, it would be good if the article could answer the first poster's questions, like "What is it good for? Who needs it?" To which I would add, what's the diff between xpointer and xpath? Mcswell (talk) 13:58, 20 August 2009 (UTC)


I find this article confusing. (I guess I should add that I often fumble around with xpath, so maybe I'm just confused in general...) Anyway, some questions:

(1) "XPointer is divided among four specifications..." Only the second of these specs (the "positional element addressing scheme") is discussed in this article.

The rest of my Qs have to do with the description of that scheme (in the sxn currently entitled "Positional Element Addressing"):

(2) "This is similar to a simple XPath address, but subsequent steps..." What is the notion of a "step" and "subsequent" here? I would have thought that each xpath (and in particular, each path in the xpointer examples) was independent of the others, meaning that there is no notion of "steps" and therefore no notion of "subsequent." Apparently I would have thought wrong (not unusual), but some explanation of what these terms mean seems necessary.

(3) "For instance, given the following fragment: <XML frag here> results as the following examples: <examples of xpointers here>." I can't parse this sentence. I *think* what it's saying is "For instance, given the following fragment: <XML frag here>, the following example xpointers result in the outputs shown: <examples of xpointers and outputs here>." (The notion of "output" presupposes some sort of processing, obviously, and it would be good to mention some programs that work with xpointers.)

(4) Does the 'xpointer(id("foo"))' *really* only extract the name of the first element? Perhaps that's what 'id' means, but some explanation seems necessary.

(4) 'element(/1/2/1)' The explanation of this path runs off the right-hand side of the page (at least in Firefox v3). I would try fixing it, but that goes beyond my wiki skills.

Mcswell (talk) 13:58, 20 August 2009 (UTC)