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Re: [xsl] preceding-sibling:: oddity

Subject: Re: [xsl] preceding-sibling:: oddity
From: "G. Ken Holman" <gkholman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 17:36:05 -0400

At 2012-06-13 14:26 -0700, Jeff Hooker wrote:
Using XSLT 2.0 and Saxon HE

I've got an XML document generated from Excel and am writing a script to extract it into something more semantic.

I've got a way of establishing a reference point in the document, and am drawing data from behind it and in front of in order to convert a simple table into a semantic format. However, I'm seeing some strange behavior with preceding-sibling::.

The current content node is ss:Cell[11], given that, can anyone point out why:

  <xsl:element name="package_pin">
    <xsl:value-of select="preceding-sibling::ss:Cell[6]"/>

fails, yet:

  <xsl:for-each select="preceding-sibling::ss:Cell">
    <xsl:if test="number(count(preceding-sibling::ss:Cell)+1) = 6">
          <xsl:element name="general_cell">
               <xsl:value-of select="."/>

succeeds in drawing the content from the 6th cell in the current row?

Because the preceding-sibling:: axis is addressed, as all parent/child/sibling axes, in proximity order, which means the closest one is numbered 1 and the next closest is 2, etc. The preceding-sibling:: axis is, therefore, in reverse document order.

Sets of nodes are delivered to XSLT in document order, so the for-each is working in forward document order.

In your first code fragment, the current node is ss:Cell[11] so preceding-sibling::ss:Cell[6] addresses the 5th of the cells.

In your second code fragment you are addressing the 6th of the cells.

As far as I can see, both start from the same context and test for the same condition, but one is direct and fails the other one reroutes flights from New York to Buffalo through Tokyo and succeeds. I'm baffled.

I hope this helps.

. . . . . . . . Ken

Thanks, Jeff.

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