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Syntactic sugar: convenient notation for common situations

Normal syntax Abbreviation
child::   nothing   (so child is the default axis)
attribute::   @
/descendant-or-self::node()/   //
self::node()   .   (useful because location paths starting with / begin evaluation at the root)
parent::node()   ..


selects all href attributes in descendants of the context node.

Furthermore, the coercion rules often allow compact notation, e.g.

refers to the third foo child element of the context node (because 3 is coerced to position()=3).