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Manual Reference Pages  -  XMLIF (1)

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xmlif - conditional processing instructions for XML



xmlif [attrib=value...]


xmlif filters XML according to conditionalizing markup. This can be useful for formatting one of several versions of an XML document depending on conditions passed to the command.

Attribute/value pairs from the command line are matched against the attributes associated with certain processing instructions in the document. The instructions are <?xmlif if?> and its inverse <?xmlif if not?>, <?xmlif elif?> and its inverse <?xmlif elif not?>, <?xmlif else?>, and <?xmlif fi?>.

Argument/value pairs given on the command line are checked against the value of corresponding attributes in the conditional processing instructions. An ‘attribute match happens if an attribute occurs in both the command-line arguments and the tag, and the values match. An ‘attribute mismatch happens if an attribute occurs in both the command-line arguments and the tag, but the values do not match.

Spans between <?xmlif if?> or <?xmlif elif?> and the next conditional processing instruction at the same nesting level are passed through unaltered if there is at least one attribute match and no attribute mismatch; spans between <?xmlif if not?> and <?xmlif elif not?> and the next conditional processing instruction are passed otherwise. Spans between <?xmlif else?> and the next conditional-processing tag are passed through only if no previous span at the same level has been passed through. <?xmlif if?> and <?xmlif fi?> (and their ‘not variants) change the current nesting level; <?xmlif else?> and <?xmlif elif?> do not.

All these processing instructions will be removed from the output produced. Aside from the conditionalization, all other input is passed through untouched; in particular, entity references are not resolved.

Value matching is by string equality, except that "|" in an attribute value is interpreted as an alternation character. Thus, saying foo=red|blue on the command line enables conditions red and blue. Saying color=black|white in a tag matches command-line conditions color=black and color=white.

Here is an example:

Always issue this text.
<?xmlif if condition=html?>
Issue this text if condition=html is given on the command line.
<?xmlif elif condition=pdf|ps?>
Issue this text if condition=pdf or condition=ps
is given on the command line.
<?xmlif else?>
Otherwise issue this text.
<?xmlif fi?>
Always issue this text.


Eric S. Raymond <>

Author of xmlif program
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Linux XMLIF (1) April 2009

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