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Re: [xsl] Remove element that all its descendants have no text nodes

Subject: Re: [xsl] Remove element that all its descendants have no text nodes
From: "G. Ken Holman" <gkholman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 10:36:51 -0500

[resend; cannot see the original in the archives]

At 2010-02-11 12:34 +0200, Israel Viente wrote:
I didn't understand why we need the second rule too.

<xsl:template match="span[not(*) and not(normalize-space(.))]">

If you have time to explain a bit how this combination works I'll be very happy.

You can see why if you remove the template rule: it handles empty spans that are in a paragraph that is otherwise not empty. Your second input paragraph is an example where the paragraph is not empty but it contains an empty span, and you said you didn't want the empty span.

Note you can use a diagnostic technique I'm fond of when testing the removal of a template rule: rather than deleting all of the template rule that you don't want to engage, you can simply introduce a typo in the match and it will never match. This works because of the declarative nature of XSLT: it just waits forever for something that will never arrive:

 <xsl:template match="spanxxx[not(*) and not(normalize-space(.))]">

If you are running a schema-aware process, that will flag an error, so I just add a disabling predicate:

 <xsl:template match="span[false()][not(*) and not(normalize-space(.))]">

I hope this helps.

. . . . . . . . . . . Ken

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