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   Re: Non-XML documents to XML Converter?

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  • From: "Roger L. Costello" <costello@mitre.org>
  • To: kvisco@mitre.org, "xml-dev@ic.ac.uk" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 06:52:42 -0400

Thanks for all the responses to my message.  I would like to clarify my
original posting and present some thoughts on how this might relate to

The documents that I am trying to convert to XML are slash-delimited. A
double slash terminates a "set".  A set is comprised of "fields". 
Here's a simple example:


Here I show two "sets".  The second set extends over two lines.  Each
set is comprised of a number of fields.  The first field in a set
identifies the set type (it is the set identifier).

I would like to convert this into an XML document that looks like this:

    <message1 setid="fruit">
    <message2 setid="person">

The particular syntax here is not really important.  The thing to note
is that for a generic transformation engine to work you need to 

(1) supply it a description of the format of the document to be
transformed.  For this example, such info might be "slash-delimited,
double slash terminated lines".

(2) supply it the transformation rules.  For example, 
         rule: match="fruit" {
               <message+count() setid="fruit">

(3) and of course you need to supply it the actual document to be

Interestingly, while driving in this morning I realized that this is
what an XSL processor does.  The only difference is that an XSL
Processor has (1) hardcoded to use <...> as the delimiter.

I think that it would be interesting to make an XSL Processor more
generic such that you could "plug in" a format description document. 
Thus, the XSL Processor could transform not just XML documents, but any
kind of documents.  Comments?

In any case, I will check out those URLs that people sent to me of
conversion tools.  Happy Tuesday!  /Roger

Robert C. Lyons wrote:
> Roger wrote: "Anyone have a tool that converts a document that is formatted in a
> non-XML syntax into XML?"
> Roger,
> XML Convert might be able to convert your non-XML document into XML.
> XML Convert can convert a wide range of flat files into XML.
> It uses a flat file schema to parse and validate the flat file
> and convert it into an XML document.
> You can download XML Convert for free at http://www.unidex.com/download.htm.
> Best regards,
> Bob
> ------
> Bob Lyons
> EC Consultant
> Unidex Inc.
> 1-732-975-9877
> boblyons@unidex.com
> http://www.unidex.com/

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