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>> If I opt to use XML for the file format - that sorts of tools can I get
for emitting the
>> xml? I'm quite aware of parsers....
>> Are there libraries that bridge the gap? (point me to java stuff if you
JAXB is a Java API, released just about now, that lets
you generate Java classes directly from a schema. By default
it's an obvious mapping, i.e. an attribute becomes a member
variable, but you can customise the mapping freely with an
XML template file, for example mapping an element to a
pre-existing class or specifying a class of your own that will
do the translation (both ways) for that element type.
It seems that Castor (mentioned by Jeff Lowery) is similar,
but it works on existing Beans whereas JAXB generates new bean-like
So, to answer your question; you would instantiate objects
of these custom classes, initialise them and connect them up as
desired, then call a 'marshal' method for the root object, which
yields the XML.
I've been trying the early-release implementation (based
on DTDs rather than schema) and I've enjoyed using it. It's a whole
lot more fun than running a DOM through an identity transformation.
When you want a 'customer' element, it's nice to be able to say
new Customer( "fred" ).