Part of the core of the Kodexa platform is the ability to use selectors to find content within our document structure.
A selector works in a similar way to a CSS selector or an XPath. It allows you to build a query that can be executed on an instance of a document.
For example if you wanted find all content nodes with the value “Name” you can do:
This would return an iterator of the content nodes (see the What is a Kodexa Document?)
Selectors are a powerful way to work and offer a number of clever features, the syntax is broken into a few parts:
Axis & Node Type
The axis is used to define how we are going to navigate the tree structure to identify the node types we want to match. Some basic examples are:
|//||Current node and all children|
|.||Current Node (or root if from the document)|
|./line/.||All nodes of type line under the current node|
|parent::line||Any node in the parent structure of this node that is of node type line|
The predicate for the nodes selected with the axis and node type is in square brackets. It can be made up a functions, attributes and operators to allow you to further filter the nodes that you want to select.
Functions can be used in the predicate, these are:
|contentRegex||Return true if a regular expression on the content of the node matches regularExpression: The regular expression to use includeChildren: True if you want to include the children of this node for the expression (optional, default false)|
|typeRegex||Return true if a regular expression on the node type name matches regularExpression: The regular expression to use|
|tagRegex||Return true a regular expression on the tag name matches regularExpression: The regular expression to use|
|hasTag||Return true if the tag has the given name tagName: The name of the tag|
|hasFeature||Return true if a feature on the node has a value matching the provided type and name featureType: The feature type featureName: The name of the feature|
|hasFeatureValue||Return true if a feature on the node has a value matching the provided type, name and value featureType: The feature type featureName: The name of the feature featureValue: The value of the feature|
|content||Returns the content of the node|
|uuid||Returns the UUID of the node|
|node_type||Returns the node type of the node|
|index||Returns the index of the node|
Also we support operators to allow you to combine functions, these are:
||||Union the results of two sides|
|=||Test that two sides are equal|
|!=||Test that two sides are not equal|
|intersect||Return the intersection of the two sides|
|and||Boolean AND operation on the two sides|
|or||Boolean OR operation on the two sides|
Another concept that is available in selectors is a “pipeline”.
This allows use to chain together a list of selectors, where the results of the first selector are passed into the next selector. This can be a useful way to build more complex queries against document structures.
In the example above we stream all nodes of type word and then filter those that have the tag ORG, then filter those that have the tag PERSON.
Below are some examples of how you can use selectors: