RE: Nasty XPath expressions
> I think confusion has come in due to an inconsistency between > the notion of > a node-set being unordered, and the fact that XSLT can > process node-sets as if they are ordered. > > This seems odd that XSLT can treat node-sets as if they are > ordered, even though they are not. Yes, people get very confused by this: I've even seen some trained mathematicians get confused by it. The key point is that the ordering is a property of the nodes, not of the collection. If you have three nodes N1, N2, and N3, you can only define one node-set containing these nodes, just as you can only define one set containing the integers (1, 2, 3). But it's perfectly reasonable to define a function that operates on sets-of-integers whose effect is to list the integers in numeric order, and it's equally reasonable to define a function that operates on sets-of-nodes whose effect is to apply templates to them in document order. The existence of an ordering (or of several orderings!) over a domain doesn't stop you defining sets of objects from that domain. Of course, it's all going to change in XPath 2.0, so this debate will soon be history. Mike Kay
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