Provided by: libtree-xpathengine-perl_0.05-1_all bug


       Tree::XPathEngine - a re-usable XPath engine


       This module provides an XPath engine, that can be re-used by other module/classes that
       implement trees.

       It is designed to be compatible with Class::XPath, ie it passes its tests if you replace
       Class::XPath by Tree::XPathEngine.

       This code is a more or less direct copy of the XML::XPath module by Matt Sergeant. I only
       removed the XML processing part (that parses an XML document and load it as a tree in
       memory) to remove the dependency on XML::Parser, applied a couple of patches, removed a
       whole bunch of XML specific things (comment, processing inistructions, namespaces...),
       renamed a whole lot of methods to make Pod::Coverage happy, and changed the docs.

       The article eXtending XML XPath,
       should give authors who want to use this module enough background to do so.

       Otherwise, my email is below ;--)

       WARNING: while the underlying code is rather solid, this module most likely lacks docs.

       As they say, "patches welcome"... but I am also interested in any experience using this
       module, what were the tricky parts, and how could the code or the docs be improved.


           use Tree::XPathEngine;

           my $tree= my_tree->new( ...);
           my $xp = Tree::XPathEngine->new();

           my @nodeset = $xp->find('/root/kid/grankid[1]'); # find all first grankids

           package tree;

           # needs to provide these methods
           sub xpath_get_name              { ... }
           sub xpath_get_next_sibling      { ... }
           sub xpath_get_previous_sibling  { ... }
           sub xpath_get_root_node         { ... }
           sub xpath_get_parent_node       { ... }
           sub xpath_get_child_nodes       { ... }
           sub xpath_is_element_node       { return 1; }
           sub xpath_cmp                   { ... }
           sub xpath_get_attributes        { ... } # only if attributes are used
           sub xpath_to_literal            { ... } # only if you want to use findnodes_as_string or findvalue



       The API of Tree::XPathEngine itself is extremely simple to allow you to get going almost
       immediately. The deeper API's are more complex, but you shouldn't have to touch most of

   new %options

           a regular expression used to match names (node names or attribute names) by default it
           is qr/[A-Za-z_][\w.-]*/ in order to work under perl 5.6.n, but you might want to use
           something like qr/\p{L}[\w.-]*/ in 5.8.n, to accommodate letter outside of the ascii

   findnodes ($path, $context)
       Returns a list of nodes found by $path, in context $context.  In scalar context returns an
       "Tree::XPathEngine::NodeSet" object.

   findnodes_as_string ($path, $context)
       Returns the text values of the nodes

   findvalue ($path, $context)
       Returns either a "Tree::XPathEngine::Literal", a "Tree::XPathEngine::Boolean" or a
       "Tree::XPathEngine::Number" object. If the path returns a NodeSet,
       $nodeset->xpath_to_literal is called automatically for you (and thus a
       "Tree::XPathEngine::Literal" is returned). Note that for each of the objects
       stringification is overloaded, so you can just print the value found, or manipulate it in
       the ways you would a normal perl value (e.g. using regular expressions).

   exists ($path, $context)
       Returns true if the given path exists.

   matches($node, $path, $context)
       Returns true if the node matches the path.

   find ($path, $context)
       The find function takes an XPath expression (a string) and returns either a
       Tree::XPathEngine::NodeSet object containing the nodes it found (or empty if no nodes
       matched the path), or one of Tree::XPathEngine::Literal (a string),
       Tree::XPathEngine::Number, or Tree::XPathEngine::Boolean. It should always return
       something - and you can use ->isa() to find out what it returned. If you need to check how
       many nodes it found you should check $nodeset->size.  See Tree::XPathEngine::NodeSet.

   XPath variables
       XPath lets you use variables in expressions (see the XPath spec:

       set_var ($var_name, $val)
           sets the variable $var_name to val

       get_var ($var_name)
           get the value of the variable (there should be no need to use this method from outside
           the module, but it looked silly to have "set_var" and "_get_var").

How to use this module

       The purpose of this module is to add XPah support to generic tree modules.

       It works by letting you create a Tree::XPathEngine object, that will be called to resolve
       XPath queries on a context. The context is a node (or a list of nodes) in a tree.

       The tree should share some characteristics with a XML tree: it is made of nodes, there are
       2 kinds of nodes, document (the whole tree, the root of the tree is a child of this node),
       elementsX(regular nodes in the tree) and attributes.

       Nodes in the tree are expected to provide methods that will be called by the XPath engine
       to resolve the query. Not all of the possible methods need be available, depending on the
       type of XPath queries that need to be supported: for example if the nodes do not have a
       text value then there is no need for a "string_value" method, and XPath queries cannot
       include the "string()" function (using it will trigger a runtime error).

       Most of the expected methods are usual methods for a tree module, so it should not be too
       difficult to implement them, by aliasing existing methods to the required ones.

       Just in case, here is a fast way to alias for example your own "parent" method to the
       "get_parent_node" needed by Tree::XPathEngine:

         *get_parent_node= *parent; # in the node package

       The XPath engine expects the whole tree and attributes to be full blown objects, which
       provide a set of methods similar to nodes. If they are not, see below for ways to "fake"

   Methods to be provided by the nodes
           returns the name of the node.

           Not used for the document.

           The text corresponding to the node, used by the "string()" function (for queries like

           returns the document object. see "Document object" below for more details.

           The parent of the root of the tree is the document node.

           The parent of an attribute is its element.

           returns a list of children.

           note that the attributes are not children of an element

           only if the tree includes textual nodes

           returns the node as a string

           returns the node value as a number object

             sub xpath_to_number
               { return XML::XPath::Number->new( $_[0]->xpath_string_value); }

       xpath_cmp ($node_a, $node_b)
           compares 2 nodes and returns -1, 0 or 1 depending on whether $a_node is before, equal
           to or after $b_node in the tree.

           This is needed in order to return sorted results and to remove duplicates.

           See "Ordering nodesets" below for a ready-to-use sorting method if your tree does not
           have a "cmp" method

   Element specific methods
           returns the list of attributes, attributes should be objects that support the
           following methods:

Tricky bits

   Document object
       The original XPath works on XML, and is roughly speaking based on the DOM model of an XML
       document. As far as the XPath engine is concerned, it still deals with a DOM tree.

       One of the possibly annoying consequences is that in the DOM the document itself is a
       node, that has a single element child, the root of the document tree. If the tree you want
       to use this module on doesn't follow that model, if its root element is the tree itself,
       then you will have to fake it.

       This is how I did it in Tree::DAG_Node::XPath:

         # in package Tree::DAG_Node::XPath
         sub xpath_get_root_node
         { my $node= shift;
           # The parent of root is a Tree::DAG_Node::XPath::Root
           # that helps getting the tree to mimic a DOM tree
           return $node->root->xpath_get_parent_node;

         sub xpath_get_parent_node
           { my $node= shift;

             return    $node->mother # normal case, any node but the root
                       # the root parent is a Tree::DAG_Node::XPath::Root object
                       # which contains the reference of the (real) root node
                    || bless { root => $node }, 'Tree::DAG_Node::XPath::Root';

         # class for the fake root for a tree
         package Tree::DAG_Node::XPath::Root;

         sub xpath_get_child_nodes   { return ( $_[0]->{root}); }
         sub address                 { return -1; } # the root is before all other nodes
         sub xpath_get_attributes    { return []  }
         sub xpath_is_document_node  { return 1   }
         sub xpath_is_element_node   { return 0   }
         sub xpath_is_attribute_node { return 0   }

   Attribute objects
       If the attributes in the original tree are not objects, but simple fields in a hash, you
       can generate objects on the fly:

         # in the element package
         sub xpath_get_attributes
           { my $elt= shift;
             my $atts= $elt->attributes; # returns a reference to a hash of attributes
             my $rank=-1;                # used for sorting
             my @atts= map { bless( { name => $_, value => $atts->{$_}, elt => $elt, rank => $rank -- },
                            sort keys %$atts;
             return @atts;

         # the attribute package
         package Tree::DAG_Node::XPath::Attribute;
         use Tree::XPathEngine::Number;

         # not used, instead get_attributes in Tree::DAG_Node::XPath directly returns an
         # object blessed in this class
         #sub new
         #  { my( $class, $elt, $att)= @_;
         #    return bless { name => $att, value => $elt->att( $att), elt => $elt }, $class;
         #  }

         sub xpath_get_value         { return $_[0]->{value}; }
         sub xpath_get_name          { return $_[0]->{name} ; }
         sub xpath_string_value      { return $_[0]->{value}; }
         sub xpath_to_number         { return Tree::XPathEngine::Number->new( $_[0]->{value}); }
         sub xpath_is_document_node  { 0 }
         sub xpath_is_element_node   { 0 }
         sub xpath_is_attribute_node { 1 }
         sub to_string         { return qq{$_[0]->{name}="$_[0]->{value}"}; }

         # Tree::DAG_Node uses the address field to sort nodes, which simplifies things quite a bit
         sub xpath_cmp { $_[0]->address cmp $_[1]->address }
         sub address
           { my $att= shift;
             my $elt= $att->{elt};
             return $elt->address . ':' . $att->{rank};

   Ordering nodesets
       XPath query results must be sorted, and duplicates removed, so the XPath engine needs to
       be able to sort nodes.

       I does so by calling the "cmp" method on nodes.

       One of the easiest way to write such a method, for static trees, is to have a method of
       the object return its position in the tree as a number.

       If that is not possible, here is a method that should work (note that it only compares

        # in the tree element package

         sub xpath_cmp($$)
           { my( $a, $b)= @_;
             if( UNIVERSAL::isa( $b, $ELEMENT))       # $ELEMENT is the tree element class
               { # 2 elts, compare them
                                         return $a->elt_cmp( $b);
             elsif( UNIVERSAL::isa( $b, $ATTRIBUTE))  # $ATTRIBUTE is the attribute class
               { # elt <=> att, compare the elt to the att->{elt}
                                         # if the elt is the att->{elt} (cmp return 0) then -1, elt is before att
                 return ($a->elt_cmp( $b->{elt}) ) || -1 ;
             elsif( UNIVERSAL::isa( $b, $TREE))        # $TREE is the tree class
               { # elt <=> document, elt is after document
                                         return 1;
               { die "unknown node type ", ref( $b); }

         sub elt_cmp
           { my( $a, $b)=@_;

             # easy cases
             return  0 if( $a == $b);
             return  1 if( $a->in($b)); # a starts after b
             return -1 if( $b->in($a)); # a starts before b

             # ancestors does not include the element itself
             my @a_pile= ($a, $a->ancestors);
             my @b_pile= ($b, $b->ancestors);

             # the 2 elements are not in the same twig
             return undef unless( $a_pile[-1] == $b_pile[-1]);

             # find the first non common ancestors (they are siblings)
             my $a_anc= pop @a_pile;
             my $b_anc= pop @b_pile;

             while( $a_anc == $b_anc)
               { $a_anc= pop @a_pile;
                 $b_anc= pop @b_pile;

             # from there move left and right and figure out the order
             my( $a_prev, $a_next, $b_prev, $b_next)= ($a_anc, $a_anc, $b_anc, $b_anc);
               { $a_prev= $a_prev->_prev_sibling || return( -1);
                 return 1 if( $a_prev == $b_next);
                 $a_next= $a_next->_next_sibling || return( 1);
                 return -1 if( $a_next == $b_prev);
                 $b_prev= $b_prev->_prev_sibling || return( 1);
                 return -1 if( $b_prev == $a_next);
                 $b_next= $b_next->_next_sibling || return( -1);
                 return 1 if( $b_next == $a_prev);

         sub in
           { my ($self, $ancestor)= @_;
             while( $self= $self->xpath_get_parent_node) { return $self if( $self ==  $ancestor); }

         sub ancestors
           { my( $self)= @_;
             while( $self= $self->xpath_get_parent_node) { push @ancestors, $self; }
             return @ancestors;

         # in the attribute package
         sub xpath_cmp($$)
           { my( $a, $b)= @_;
             if( UNIVERSAL::isa( $b, $ATTRIBUTE))
               { # 2 attributes, compare their elements, then their name
                 return ($a->{elt}->elt_cmp( $b->{elt}) ) || ($a->{name} cmp $b->{name});
             elsif( UNIVERSAL::isa( $b, $ELEMENT))
               { # att <=> elt : compare the att->elt and the elt
                 # if att->elt is the elt (cmp returns 0) then 1 (elt is before att)
                 return ($a->{elt}->elt_cmp( $b) ) || 1 ;
             elsif( UNIVERSAL::isa( $b, $TREE))
               { # att <=> document, att is after document
                 return 1;
               { die "unknown node type ", ref( $b); }

XPath extension

       The module supports the XPath recommendation to the same extend as XML::XPath (that is,
       rather completely).

       It includes a perl-specific extension: direct support for regular expressions.

       You can use the usual (in Perl!) "=~" and "!~" operators. Regular expressions are /
       delimited (no other delimiter is accepted, \ inside regexp must be backslashed), the
       "imsx" modifiers can be used.

         $xp->findnodes( '//@att[.=~ /^v.$/]'); # returns the list of attributes att
                                                # whose value matches ^v.$


       provide inheritable node and attribute classes for typical cases, starting with nodes
       where the root IS the tree, and where attributes are a simple hash (similar to what I did
       in Tree::DAG_Node).

       better docs (patches welcome).


       Tree::DAG_Node::XPath for an exemple of using this module

       <> for background information

       Class::XPath, which is probably easier to use, but at this point supports much less of
       XPath that Tree::XPathEngine.


       Michel Rodriguez, "<>"

       This code is heavily based on the code for XML::XPath by Matt Sergeant copyright 2000 Ltd


       Please report any bugs or feature requests to "", or
       through the web interface at
       <>.  I will be notified,
       and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.



       XML::XPath Copyright 2000-2004 Ltd.  Copyright 2006 Michel Rodriguez, All Rights

       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same
       terms as Perl itself.