XML Newbie Woes

Graham Samuel livfoss at mac.com
Tue Sep 24 17:58:34 CEST 2013

Mark - fair enough: I acknowledge my unfamiliarity. My cries of pain were amplified by the fact that I couldn't do anything on the internet for a whole week apart from see emails by imposing on friends or using an expensive G3 connection. So I was trying to learn with inadequate materials. My priority now is to finish the very small program I've been working on without using XML, since it's so simple, but then to go back and see what I can learn. Clearly I am still struggling with the underlying model (a tree represented by a parenthetical structure? Seems a long way from a real tree - but that's just my ignorance, I realise).

I'm interested in your ability to parse xml files in order to determine the structure - my guess is that you must have a foolproof method of dealing with dead ends. In my small experiments I was surprised to see that some of the things I tried to do met with no result, not even an error message.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.


On 24 Sep 2013, at 17:43, Mark Wieder wrote:

> Graham-
> Monday, September 23, 2013, 12:44:15 PM, you wrote:
>> the inability of the revXML series of handlers to allow one to
>> analyse the structure of an XML in the abstract without knowing the
>> names of all the tags, or whatever they're called, and the exact
>> parenthetical structure.
> My guess is that your unfamiliarity with xml is the root of your
> problems, rather than a deficiency in the libxml library. I regularly
> parse wsdl xml files in this fashion in order to determine their
> structure, and this involves recursive hierarchical data constructs
> using just text-chunking functions. If you're dealing with a simple
> enough xml layout you may be able to construct some text functions
> that do the job, but for anything more complex you'll need to dive
> into how the revxml functions work.
> -- 
> -Mark Wieder
> mwieder at ahsoftware.net

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