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Path Elements

Path elements, in their simplest form, are object names. However, there are also ‘special meaning’ path elements which allow us to navigate through the tree:

The '.' can be used to explicitly state that a path starts from the current point. For example, you might want to navigate to B then C – so you could use B/C or ./B/C. The single dot notation is never required, but can help in giving context.


The '..' is used to navigate to the parent of a node.


The '*' is used to accept any node name as a match. So, for example, in our test tree (as shown in the introduction topic), we could get to the X nodes that are descendants of B by using the path /B/*/X