Php – How to use XPath to perform a case-insensitive search and support non-english characters


I am performing a search in an XML file, using the following code:

$result = $xml->xpath("//StopPoint[contains(StopName, '$query')]");

Where $query is the search query, and StopName is the name of a bus stop. The problem is, it's case sensitive.

And not only that, I would also be able to search with non-english characters like ÆØÅæøå to return Norwegian names.

How is this possible?

Best Solution

In XPath 1.0 (which is, I believe, the best you can get with PHP SimpleXML), you'd have to use the translate() function to produce all-lowercase output from mixed-case input.

For convenience, I would wrap it in a function like this:

function findStopPointByName($xml, $query) {
  $upper = "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZÆØÅ"; // add any characters...
  $lower = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzæøå"; // ...that are missing

  $arg_stopname = "translate(StopName, '$upper', '$lower')";
  $arg_query    = "translate('$query', '$upper', '$lower')";

  return $xml->xpath("//StopPoint[contains($arg_stopname, $arg_query)");

As a sanitizing measure I would either completely forbid or escape single quotes in $query, because they will break your XPath string if they are ignored.

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