XSL (eXtensible Style Sheets) Parsing Operators and Characters


XSL patterns are constructed using the operators and patterns as shown below.

PatternDescription
/ Child operator. Selects children of the specified collection. / selects from the root node.
// Searches the child node recursively.
. Current context (path), ie. the current object.
* Wilcard which selects all elements. For instance, * will find anything and A* will find all items beginning with A.
@ Attribute prefix name. For instance, @continent will access <name continent="Africa">A very big continent</continent> will retrieve Africa and continent will retrieve A very big continent.
@* Retrieves all attributes regardless of name.
: Separates the namespace element prefix from the element or attribute name.
!* Applies a method to a reference node.
()* Enforcement of precedence by grouping of operations.
[] Filtering pattern.
[]* Collection indexing subscript operator.

Precedence order is that as shown below.

  1. () - grouping.
  2. [] - filters.
  3. / // - path operations.