I have the following XPath String
PartyRoleIdentifier='1' or position() = 1)]/ROLES/ROLE/BORROWER/
ns:PartyRoleIdentifier='1' or position() = 1)]/ns:ROLES/
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<MESSAGE xmlns="http://www.example.com" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xxxxReferenceModelIdentifier="18.104.22.1683.12" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.example.org/schemas C:\Subversion\xxx_3_0.xsd">
According to the MSDN documentation, when you call AddNamespace for your namespace manager, you can use
String.Empty as the prefix for your namespace URI. That should enable you to do an XPath expression without all those
OK, I remember encountering this issue before. The behavior of empty namespace prefixes in XPath expressions is not consistent with the rest of the .NET XML suite. There is some evidence that some Microsoft folks are aware of the issue. See this forum thread. I'll look for a while more for solutions, but I'm thinking that you'll have to make do with using namespace prefixes.
Feel free to vote on this Microsoft Connect Bug that I've just created. I see that they have closed similar bugs in the past, but none of them focused on usability concerns before. Maybe we'll get some traction with more votes.
Just some clarifications, my filed bug is not and never was about compliance with XPath standards, but rather about usability. No matter the standards, users need a way to make XPath queries with namespaced XML more succinct, and that is currently not supported. As far as standards support goes, XSLT 2.0 has a way to do XPath 2.0 with empty namespace prefixes associated with a namespace URI, and XMLSpy has that capability as well. The MSDN documentation claims that .NET has XPath 2.0 support, but the veracity of that claim is under dispute. One could argue that .NET is properly implementing XPath 1.0 by disallowing the modification of what an empty prefix represents.