Match an element in a DOM structure. The syntax is inspired
by XPath, using () rather than
 to select inside an
element. First we can construct paths using / and //:
- Select any node in the DOM matching term.
- Match the root against Term.
- Select the immediate children of the root matching Term.
The Terms above are of type callable. The functor specifies
the element name. The element name’*' refers to any element. The
self refers to the top-element itself and is often
used for processing matches of an earlier xpath/3
query. A term NS:Term refers to an XML name in the namespace NS.
Optional arguments specify additional constraints and functions. The
arguments are processed from left to right. Defined conditional argument
- True if the element is the Index-th child of its parent, where 1 denotes
the first child. Index can be one of:
- Var is unified with the index of the matched element.
- True for the last element.
last - IntExpr
- True for the last-minus-nth element. For example,
last-1 is the element directly preceding the last one.
- True for the element whose index equals IntExpr.
- The N-th element with the given name, with 1 denoting the first element.
- The last element with the given name. Same as
last - IntExpr
- The IntExpr-th element before the last. Same as
Defined function argument values are:
- Evaluate to the entire element
- Evaluate to the content of the element (a list)
- Evaluates to all text from the sub-tree as an atom
- Evaluates to all text from the sub-tree according to
As, which is either
text, but uses normalize_space/2
to normalise white-space in the output
- Extract an integer or float from the value. Ignores leading and trailing
- Evaluates to the value of the given attribute. Attribute can be a
compound term. In this case the functor name denotes the attribute and
arguments perform transformations on the attribute value. Defined
- Translate the value into a number using
number, but subsequently transform the value into an
integer using the round/1 function.
number, but subsequently transform the value into a
float using the float/1 function.
- Translate the value into a Prolog atom. Note that an atom is normally
the default, so
@href(atom) are equivalent. The SGML parser can return
attributes as strings using the
- Translate the value into a Prolog string.
- Translate the value to lower case, preserving the type.
- Translate the value to upper case, preserving the type.
In addition, the argument-list can be conditions:
- Left = Right
- Succeeds if the left-hand unifies with the right-hand. If the left-hand
side is a function, this is evaluated. The right-hand side is never
evaluated, and thus the condition
content = content defines
that the content of the element is the atom
upper_case can be
applied to Right (see example below).
- Succeeds if Needle is a sub-string of Haystack.
- Succeeds if XPath matches in the currently selected sub-DOM.
For example, the following expression finds an
div element, where the
itself contains an
h2 child with a
This is equivalent to the conjunction of XPath goals below.
xpath(DOM, //(div), Div),
xpath(Div, h2/strong, _),
xpath(Div, h3, Result)
Match each table-row in DOM:
xpath(DOM, //tr, TR)
Match the last cell of each tablerow in DOM. This example
illustrates that a result can be the input of subsequent xpath/3
queries. Using multiple queries on the intermediate TR term guarantee
that all results come from the same table-row:
xpath(DOM, //tr, TR),
xpath(TR, /td(last), TD)
href attribute in an <a>
xpath(DOM, //a(@href), HREF)
Suppose we have a table containing rows where each first column is
the name of a product with a link to details and the second is the price
(a number). The following predicate matches the name, URL and price:
product(DOM, Name, URL, Price) :-
xpath(DOM, //tr, TR),
xpath(TR, td(1), C1),
xpath(C1, /self(normalize_space), Name),
xpath(C1, a(@href), URL),
xpath(TR, td(2, number), Price).
Suppose we want to select books with genre="thriller" from a tree
thriller(DOM, Book) :-
xpath(DOM, //book(@genre=thiller), Book).
Match the elements
<table align="center"> and
//table(@align(lower) = center)
height of a
element as a number, and the
div node itself:
xpath(DOM, //div(@width(number)=W, @height(number)=H), Div)
div is an infix operator, so parentheses must
be used in cases like the following:
xpath(DOM, //(div), Div)