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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  XML2C (1)

NAME

xml2c - convert an XML file into C struct/string declarations

CONTENTS

Synopsis
Description
Problems
Author

SYNOPSIS

xml2c xmlfile

DESCRIPTION

xml2c reads in an XML file and produces equivalent C source code, suitable for #including in your program. The C version is probably easier deal with in your code. You don’t have to read and parse the XML file and then look for the nodes you want; instead you just loop through a bunch of structs. Or maybe you just don’t want to distribute extra files with your app, and would rather build them into the executable.

Example input:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<list>
  <item id="1" value="17">this item</item>
  <item id="2" value="23">that item</item>
  <item id="3" value="42">the other item</item>
</list>

Example output:

% xml2c sample.xml
struct _item {
    char* id;
    char* value;
    char* TEXT;
    };
struct _list {
    struct _item item[3];
    int N_item;
    };
static struct _list list = {
    item: { {
        id: "1",
        value: "17",
        TEXT: "this item",
        }, {
        id: "2",
        value: "23",
        TEXT: "that item",
        }, {
        id: "3",
        value: "42",
        TEXT: "the other item",
        } },
    N_item: 3,
    };

PROBLEMS

xml2c should be able to produce output for any valid XML input file. However, there are some valid XML inputs for which the C output will not compile. For example, if there are XML elements with the same name but in different contexts, xml2c may not detect that they are the same and will produce two different struct definitions with the same name. That will result in a C compiler error, even if the two structs have the exact same fields:

% cat bogus.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<foo>
  <item>this item</item>
  <bar>
    <item>that item</item>
  </bar>
</foo>
% xml2c bogus.xml > bogus.c
% cat bogus.c
struct _item {
    char* TEXT;
    };
struct _item {
    char* TEXT;
    };
struct _bar {
    struct _item item;
    int N_item;
    };
struct _foo {
    struct _item item;
    int N_item;
    struct _bar bar;
    int N_bar;
    };
static struct _foo foo = {
    item: {
        TEXT: "this item",
        },
    N_item: 1,
    bar: {
        item: {
            TEXT: "that item",
            },
        N_item: 1,
        },
    N_bar: 1,
    };
% gcc bogus.c
bogus.c:4: redefinition of ‘struct _item’

Another case that can result in C compiler errors is if you use #include to bring multiple xml2c result files into a single .c file. If two or more of the XML files have elements with the same name, then the result files will have multiple struct definitions with the same name, and again that’s a compiler error.

AUTHOR

Copyright � 2011 by Jef Poskanzer <jef@mail.acme.com>. All rights reserved.
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--> XML2C (1) 15 September 2011

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