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XPath XmlNodeList documentation - apparent contradition

1. Under the topic "Select Nodes Using XPath Navigation" it says:
"All XmlNodeList objects are synchronized with the underlying document,
therefore if you ... modify the value of a node, that node is updated in the
document it came from."

2. Under the topic "XmlNode.SelectNodes Method (String)" it says:
"The XmlNodeList should not be expected to be connected "live" to the XML
document. That is, changes that appear in the XML diocument may not appear
in the XmlNodeList, and vice versa."

Is this really a contradiction? If so, which one is correct? If not, what
is it that I don't understand here?

TIA
May 22 '06 #1
4 4445


SkyHook wrote:
1. Under the topic "Select Nodes Using XPath Navigation" it says:
"All XmlNodeList objects are synchronized with the underlying document,
therefore if you ... modify the value of a node, that node is updated in the
document it came from."

2. Under the topic "XmlNode.SelectNodes Method (String)" it says:
"The XmlNodeList should not be expected to be connected "live" to the XML
document. That is, changes that appear in the XML diocument may not appear
in the XmlNodeList, and vice versa."


You are right, the documentation is misleading. With .NET some
XmlNodeLists returned are "live", e.g. ChildNodes is live, try

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList documentChildren = xmlDocument.ChildNodes;
Console.WriteLine("Number of child nodes: {0}",
documentChildren.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<!-- a comment child node --><gods />");
Console.WriteLine("Number of child nodes: {0}",
documentChildren.Count);

and it will output

Number of child nodes: 0
Number of child nodes: 2
GetElementsByTagName also returns a live XmlNodeList, e.g. try

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList godElements = xmlDocument.GetElementsByTagName("god");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<gods><god>Kibo</god><god>Xibo</god></gods>");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);

and it will output

Number of god elements: 0
Number of god elements: 2

However the implementation of the live XmlNodeList for
GetElementsByTagName is badly done and can give you serious performance
problems, see
<http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823928/en-us>
The XmlNodeList returned by SelectNodes is not live e.g. if you check

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList godElements = xmlDocument.SelectNodes("gods/god");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<gods><god>Kibo</god><god>Xibo</god></gods>");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);

then the output is

Number of god elements: 0
Number of god elements: 0
--

Martin Honnen --- MVP XML
http://JavaScript.FAQTs.com/
May 23 '06 #2
Ok, that tells me what I needed to know. Thanks.

"Martin Honnen" <ma*******@yahoo.de> wrote in message
news:u8****************@TK2MSFTNGP05.phx.gbl...


SkyHook wrote:
1. Under the topic "Select Nodes Using XPath Navigation" it says:
"All XmlNodeList objects are synchronized with the underlying document,
therefore if you ... modify the value of a node, that node is updated in
the document it came from."

2. Under the topic "XmlNode.SelectNodes Method (String)" it says:
"The XmlNodeList should not be expected to be connected "live" to the XML
document. That is, changes that appear in the XML diocument may not
appear in the XmlNodeList, and vice versa."


You are right, the documentation is misleading. With .NET some
XmlNodeLists returned are "live", e.g. ChildNodes is live, try

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList documentChildren = xmlDocument.ChildNodes;
Console.WriteLine("Number of child nodes: {0}",
documentChildren.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<!-- a comment child node --><gods />");
Console.WriteLine("Number of child nodes: {0}",
documentChildren.Count);

and it will output

Number of child nodes: 0
Number of child nodes: 2
GetElementsByTagName also returns a live XmlNodeList, e.g. try

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList godElements = xmlDocument.GetElementsByTagName("god");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<gods><god>Kibo</god><god>Xibo</god></gods>");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);

and it will output

Number of god elements: 0
Number of god elements: 2

However the implementation of the live XmlNodeList for
GetElementsByTagName is badly done and can give you serious performance
problems, see
<http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823928/en-us>
The XmlNodeList returned by SelectNodes is not live e.g. if you check

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList godElements = xmlDocument.SelectNodes("gods/god");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<gods><god>Kibo</god><god>Xibo</god></gods>");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);

then the output is

Number of god elements: 0
Number of god elements: 0
--

Martin Honnen --- MVP XML
http://JavaScript.FAQTs.com/

May 23 '06 #3
That's helpful, but one question remains: does updating a node in an
XmlNodeList returned from SelectNodes cause a "live" update to the
XmlDocument?

The Help from SelectNodes says "...changes that appear in the XML diocument
may not appear in the XmlNodeList, and vice versa." "Vice versa" implies to
me that if you make changes to the XmlNodeList, you can't count on them being
reflected in the XmlDocument.

And yet the code example from the same Help entry (see below) does exactly
that - it changes nodes in a NodeList returned from SelectNodes, and then
writes out the XmlDocument (expecting it to have been changed).

Any insight?

----------------------------------------
using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Xml;

public class Sample {

public static void Main() {

XmlDocument doc = new XmlDocument();
doc.Load("booksort.xml");

XmlNodeList nodeList;
XmlNode root = doc.DocumentElement;

nodeList=root.SelectNodes("descendant::book[author/last-name='Austen']");

//Change the price on the books.
foreach (XmlNode book in nodeList)
{
book.LastChild.InnerText="15.95";
}

Console.WriteLine("Display the modified XML document....");
doc.Save(Console.Out);

}
}

"Martin Honnen" wrote:


SkyHook wrote:
1. Under the topic "Select Nodes Using XPath Navigation" it says:
"All XmlNodeList objects are synchronized with the underlying document,
therefore if you ... modify the value of a node, that node is updated in the
document it came from."

2. Under the topic "XmlNode.SelectNodes Method (String)" it says:
"The XmlNodeList should not be expected to be connected "live" to the XML
document. That is, changes that appear in the XML diocument may not appear
in the XmlNodeList, and vice versa."


You are right, the documentation is misleading. With .NET some
XmlNodeLists returned are "live", e.g. ChildNodes is live, try

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList documentChildren = xmlDocument.ChildNodes;
Console.WriteLine("Number of child nodes: {0}",
documentChildren.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<!-- a comment child node --><gods />");
Console.WriteLine("Number of child nodes: {0}",
documentChildren.Count);

and it will output

Number of child nodes: 0
Number of child nodes: 2
GetElementsByTagName also returns a live XmlNodeList, e.g. try

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList godElements = xmlDocument.GetElementsByTagName("god");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<gods><god>Kibo</god><god>Xibo</god></gods>");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);

and it will output

Number of god elements: 0
Number of god elements: 2

However the implementation of the live XmlNodeList for
GetElementsByTagName is badly done and can give you serious performance
problems, see
<http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823928/en-us>
The XmlNodeList returned by SelectNodes is not live e.g. if you check

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList godElements = xmlDocument.SelectNodes("gods/god");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<gods><god>Kibo</god><god>Xibo</god></gods>");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);

then the output is

Number of god elements: 0
Number of god elements: 0
--

Martin Honnen --- MVP XML
http://JavaScript.FAQTs.com/

Jun 23 '06 #4
Short answer: yes

Long answer: there is but one 'node' SelectNodes does not return a
copy, or some view, it returns the actual node.
I believe the help is trying to indicate that changes to the document
may not cause nodes to be added/removed from the XmlNodeList result of
SelectNodes. For example, if I select "//foo[@a=1]" (all elements
'foo' inthe null namespace with attribute 'a' with value '1'), then if
I change the value of an 'a' attribute on a 'foo' element, that
may-or-may-not result in a change to the nodes reported by the
XmlNodeList.

-derekdb

Tom G wrote:
That's helpful, but one question remains: does updating a node in an
XmlNodeList returned from SelectNodes cause a "live" update to the
XmlDocument?

The Help from SelectNodes says "...changes that appear in the XML diocument
may not appear in the XmlNodeList, and vice versa." "Vice versa" implies to
me that if you make changes to the XmlNodeList, you can't count on them being
reflected in the XmlDocument.

And yet the code example from the same Help entry (see below) does exactly
that - it changes nodes in a NodeList returned from SelectNodes, and then
writes out the XmlDocument (expecting it to have been changed).

Any insight?

----------------------------------------
using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Xml;

public class Sample {

public static void Main() {

XmlDocument doc = new XmlDocument();
doc.Load("booksort.xml");

XmlNodeList nodeList;
XmlNode root = doc.DocumentElement;

nodeList=root.SelectNodes("descendant::book[author/last-name='Austen']");

//Change the price on the books.
foreach (XmlNode book in nodeList)
{
book.LastChild.InnerText="15.95";
}

Console.WriteLine("Display the modified XML document....");
doc.Save(Console.Out);

}
}

"Martin Honnen" wrote:


SkyHook wrote:
1. Under the topic "Select Nodes Using XPath Navigation" it says:
"All XmlNodeList objects are synchronized with the underlying document,
therefore if you ... modify the value of a node, that node is updated in the
document it came from."

2. Under the topic "XmlNode.SelectNodes Method (String)" it says:
"The XmlNodeList should not be expected to be connected "live" to the XML
document. That is, changes that appear in the XML diocument may not appear
in the XmlNodeList, and vice versa."


You are right, the documentation is misleading. With .NET some
XmlNodeLists returned are "live", e.g. ChildNodes is live, try

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList documentChildren = xmlDocument.ChildNodes;
Console.WriteLine("Number of child nodes: {0}",
documentChildren.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<!-- a comment child node --><gods />");
Console.WriteLine("Number of child nodes: {0}",
documentChildren.Count);

and it will output

Number of child nodes: 0
Number of child nodes: 2
GetElementsByTagName also returns a live XmlNodeList, e.g. try

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList godElements = xmlDocument.GetElementsByTagName("god");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<gods><god>Kibo</god><god>Xibo</god></gods>");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);

and it will output

Number of god elements: 0
Number of god elements: 2

However the implementation of the live XmlNodeList for
GetElementsByTagName is badly done and can give you serious performance
problems, see
<http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823928/en-us>
The XmlNodeList returned by SelectNodes is not live e.g. if you check

XmlDocument xmlDocument = new XmlDocument();
XmlNodeList godElements = xmlDocument.SelectNodes("gods/god");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);
xmlDocument.LoadXml("<gods><god>Kibo</god><god>Xibo</god></gods>");
Console.WriteLine("Number of god elements: {0}", godElements.Count);

then the output is

Number of god elements: 0
Number of god elements: 0
--

Martin Honnen --- MVP XML
http://JavaScript.FAQTs.com/


Jun 26 '06 #5

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