Rightnow the importxml wiki includes a quotation of the official help article which only describes the syntax and point users to W3School to learn about xPath. I think that we could improve it.
IMPORTXML requires two arguments, an URL to a file to be examined, I call it "the source file", and a xPath query.
Also I think that most of the questions about IMPORTXML fall in at least one of the following categories:
The source file doesn't follow the XML markup rules
- Usually the answer is the xPath query of the topmost node that could be retrieved by IMPORTXML then suggest the use of other spreadsheet functions to get the required content.
- The wiki could include the suggestion to use the W3C Markup Validation Service prior to post the question as part of the OP research effort.
The source file doesn't contain the content to be parsed
- The answer is that Google Sheets built-in functions aren't able to get that content.
- The above could be because the content isn't included on the publically available source code of the page
- The wiki could include recommendations to use other tools or to point users to Software Recommendations
The source file follow the XML markup rules but the OP has problems to figure out the xPath
- The answers could include a working xPath.
- The wiki could include instructions about how to get one.
The issue isn't related to the source file
- The wiki could include links to questions about Google Sheets functions and formulas common errors
- Another common question is about the the automatic refresh of the imported results
Does it makes sense to extend the importxml wiki or should it be better to proceed in a different way, like looking for/creating canonical questions? Is it too soon?
I was bold and jumped in into extending the [importxml] wiki. Also I created a self-answered question that could be used as reference on questions:
- How to know if Google Sheets IMPORTDATA, IMPORTFEED, IMPORTHTML or IMPORTXML functions are able to get data from a resource hosted on a website?
I will wait a bit for feedback about it prior to add the it's link to the [importxml] wiki.
NOTE: Searching for importxml -[importxml] is:q returns
33 11 questions.