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1.2. Antecedents/History

An interesting portion of many W3C specs is the list of non-normative (or simply "other") references at the end. After wading through all the dry prose whose overarching purpose is the removal of ambiguity (sometimes at the expense of clarity and terseness), in this section you get to peek into the minds and personalities of the specs' authors. (The "non-normative" says, in effect, that the resources listed here aren't required reading — although they may have profoundly affected the authors' own thinking about the subject.)

The XPath specification's "other references," without exception, are other formally published standards from the W3C or other (quasi-)official institutions. But XPath, as you will see, is a full-blown standard (the W3C refers to these as "recommendations"). XPointer is still a bit ragged around the edges at the time of this writing, and its non-normative references (Appendix A.2 of the XPointer xpointer( ) Scheme) are consequently more revealing of the background. This is especially useful, because there is some overlap in the membership of the W3C Working Groups (WGs) that produced XPointer and XPath.


  

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