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When your requirements say "select all X nodes +for which+ some condition applies" then you need to use a predicate containing that condition.
i did an inelegant solution by just testing node.getName() after getting all ids.
This is sort of trial by fire for me -- can you show an example? I don't understand the terminology "predicate".
And your web searches with the keywords "xpath predicate" came back empty?
Sorry. If you know absolutely nothing about a topic, asking questions on a forum is going to be a very slow way to get started. Find a decent XPath tutorial and start reading.