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   Re: XML convertor generator

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  • From: James Robertson <jamesr@steptwo.com.au>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 15:23:47 +1000

At 13:48 25/03/1999 , Clark Evans wrote:

  | James Robertson wrote:
  | | At 03:08 25/03/1999 , JPA wrote:
  | | | Hello,
  | | |
  | | | I'm currently working on an xml convertor-generator. When finished, the
  | | | tool will, if you take the bother to type the structure of your input
  | | | format and mappings on entities and attributes, construct a convertor.
  | | | There's no documentation as yet, and some stuff missing (escaping, for
  | | | one thing), but if there's enough interest I'll put it on a website
as is.
  | | |
  | | | Paul Janssens - paul.janssens@skynet.be
  | | 
  | | Paul,
  | | 
  | | Not wishing to rain on your parade, but aren't
  | | you re-inventing the wheel here?
  | Actually, a program which created an efficient
  | program to convert XML conforming to a specific
  | DTD to another product would be a very cool 
  | invention, very different from using Perl 
  | and/or Omnimark.

This _would_ be useful.

However, to be useful, it would have to support:

* Regular expressions.
* Complex data types, especially things like hash
* Some form of "reference"-like lookahead.
* Context-sensitive code based on the current
  SGML state.

These are the things that I use every day.

Converting from legacy (or as I have recently
heard it called, "heritage") data to XML is
not simple. If the source is very consistent,
you're fine. 

Otherwise, it's always a struggle, in which
you use every tool in your toolbox.

  | I have Omnimark programs which take a great
  | deal of processing power (I'd hate to see the 
  | Perl equivalent).  Cutting it in half with a 
  | program that generated a program would be 
  | very cool indeed.   What kind of 'efficiencies'
  | do you get when you remove the interpreted layer?

Omnimark is actually pretty good. On the basis
of the speeds reported on this mailing list, I
would rate it quite fast, especially on large
data sets.

But of course, if you're doing a complex
conversion, then your code is going to be
slow. Fact of life.

  | I'm reading this that you are more or less
  | doing a YACC thing?  Is this a correct
  | interpretation?  Will it do SGML?
  | (I guess I can run it through nsgmls 
  | to make the XML equivalent first.)
  | Is it open source?  Hopefully it 
  | will generate C code (for speed).

A YACC-like tool would be way cool.


James Robertson
Step Two Designs Pty Ltd
SGML, XML & HTML Consultancy

"Beyond the Idea"
 ACN 081 019 623

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