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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  MKDOC::XML::TREEBUILDER (3)

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NAME

MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder - Builds a parsed tree from XML data

CONTENTS

SYNOPSIS



  my @top_nodes = MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder->process_data ($some_xml);



SUMMARY

MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder uses MKDoc::XML::Tokenizer to turn XML data into a parsed tree. Basically it smells like an XML parser, looks like an XML parser, and awfully overlaps with XML parsers.

But it’s not an XML parser.

XML parsers are required to die if the XML data is not well formed. MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder doesn’t give a rip: it’ll parse whatever as long as it’s good enough for it to parse.

XML parsers expand entities. MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder doesn’t. At least not yet.

XML parsers generally support namespaces. MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder doesn’t - and probably won’t.

DISCLAIMER

<B>This module does low level XML manipulation. It will somehow parse even broken XML and try to do something with it. Do not use it unless you know what you’re doing.B>

API

my CW@top_nodes = MKDoc::XML::Tokenizer->process_data ($some_xml);

Returns all the top nodes of the $some_xml parsed tree.

Although the XML spec says that there can be only one top element in an XML file, you have to take two things into account:

1. Pseudo-elements such as XML declarations, processing instructions, and comments.

2. MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder is not an XML parser, it’s not its job to care about the XML specification, so having multiple top elements is just fine.

my CW$tokens = MKDoc::XML::Tokenizer->process_data (’/some/file.xml’);

Same as MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder->process_data ($some_xml), except that it reads $some_xml from ’/some/file.xml’.

Returned parsed tree - data structure

I have tried to make MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder look enormously like HTML::TreeBuilder. So most of this section is stolen and slightly adapted from the HTML::Element man page.

START PLAGIARISM HERE

It may occur to you to wonder what exactly a tree is, and how it’s represented in memory. Consider this HTML document:



  <html lang=en-US>
    <head>
      <title>Stuff</title>
      <meta name=author content=Jojo />
    </head>
    <body>
     <h1>I like potatoes!</h1>
    </body>
  </html>



Building a syntax tree out of it makes a tree-structure in memory that could be diagrammed as:



                     html (lang=en-US)
                      / \
                    /     \
                  /         \
                head        body
               /\               \
             /    \               \
           /        \               \
         title     meta              h1
          |       (name=author,     |
       "Stuff"    content=Jojo)    "I like potatoes"



This is the traditional way to diagram a tree, with the root at the top, and it’s this kind of diagram that people have in mind when they say, for example, that the meta element is under the head element instead of under the body element. (The same is also said with inside instead of under — the use of inside makes more sense when you’re looking at the HTML source.)

Another way to represent the above tree is with indenting:



  html (attributes: lang=en-US)
    head
      title
        "Stuff"
      meta (attributes: name=author content=Jojo)
    body
      h1
        "I like potatoes"



Incidentally, diagramming with indenting works much better for very large trees, and is easier for a program to generate. The $tree->dump method uses indentation just that way.

However you diagram the tree, it’s stored the same in memory — it’s a network of objects, each of which has attributes like so:



  element #1:  _tag: html
               _parent: none
               _content: [element #2, element #5]
               lang: en-US

  element #2:  _tag: head
               _parent: element #1
               _content: [element #3, element #4]

  element #3:  _tag: title
               _parent: element #2
               _content: [text segment "Stuff"]

  element #4   _tag: meta
               _parent: element #2
               _content: none
               name: author
               content: Jojo

  element #5   _tag: body
               _parent: element #1
               _content: [element #6]

  element #6   _tag: h1
               _parent: element #5
               _content: [text segment "I like potatoes"]



The treeness of the tree-structure that these elements comprise is not an aspect of any particular object, but is emergent from the relatedness attributes (_parent and _content) of these element-objects and from how you use them to get from element to element.

STOP PLAGIARISM HERE

This is pretty much the kind of data structure MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder returns. More information on different nodes and their type is available in MKDoc::XML::Token.

NOTES

Did I mention that MKDoc::XML::TreeBuilder is NOT an XML parser?

AUTHOR

Copyright 2003 - MKDoc Holdings Ltd.

Author: Jean-Michel Hiver

This module is free software and is distributed under the same license as Perl itself. Use it at your own risk.

SEE ALSO

MKDoc::XML::Token MKDoc::XML::Tokenizer
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perl v5.20.3 MKDOC::XML::TREEBUILDER (3) 2004-10-06

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