Forum: Ruby REXML, each_element and XPath

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Thibaut Barrère (Guest)
on 2006-03-08 12:11
(Received via mailing list)

while playing with REXML I try to use each_element with an x-path
expression involving an attribute (doc/element/@attribute) but can't
get it to work this way (it works perfectly fine with both XPath.each
and each_element applied on doc/element without @attribute).

here's my test suite to illustrate this, is there some obvious mistake
that I cannot see ? I've read in older posts that each_element did not
recurse, would it be the explanation ?

any insight most welcome!

kind regards



require "test/unit"
require "rexml/document"
include REXML

class XmlTests < Test::Unit::TestCase

  # fail
  def test_each_element_with_attribute
	count = 0
	@doc.each_element("doc/element/@attribute") { |n| count = count+1 }
	assert_equal 1,count

  # pass
  def test_each_element_without_attribute
	count = 0
	@doc.each_element("doc/element") { |n| count = count+1 }
	assert_equal 1,count

  # pass
  def test_xpath
    count = 0
	XPath.each(@doc,"doc/element/@attribute") { |n| count = count+1 }
	assert_equal 1,count

  def setup
	@doc =<<EOF
			<element attribute="value"/>

Farrel L. (Guest)
on 2006-03-08 12:51
(Received via mailing list)
It seems that when xpathing with an attribute @doc.each_element
returns an array containting the attributes:

irb(main):009:0> @doc =<<EOF
irb(main):010:1" <doc><element attribute="value"/><element
irb(main):011:1" EOF
irb(main):012:1> )
irb(main):016:0> @doc.each_element("doc/element/@attribute")
=> [attribute='value', attribute='value']

Not sure if this is a bug. I'm using the version of REXML that comes
with  1.8.2 on Windows.

Farrel L. (Guest)
on 2006-03-08 13:45
(Received via mailing list)
I've done some experimentation and I think the problem is as follows.
/doc/element/@attribute is a search for the attribute node, not the
element, so using it with doc.each_element isn't strictly
'semantically' correct. If you want to find an element with an
attribute you should use the /doc/element[@attribute] xpath string.

irb(main):002:0> doc =<<EOF
irb(main):003:1" <doc><element attribute="value"/></doc>"
irb(main):004:1" EOF
irb(main):005:1> )
irb(main):006:0> doc.each_element("/doc/element[@attribute]"){|n| puts
=> [<element attribute='value'/>]
Thibaut Barrère (Guest)
on 2006-03-08 14:40
(Received via mailing list)
Hi Farrel and thanks for your feedback!

I've searched more and finally found a note here:

"Note that XPaths are automatically filtered for Elements, so that
non-Element children will not be yielded"

So basically that's what you said : Attribute instances (non-Element)
cannot be retrieved directly through each_element.

I either have to seek for elements then grab the attribute like you
did, or stick with XPath.each which does the job pretty well.


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