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This thread sounds more like an argument for full-document validation prior
to processing, or at the very least making sure you've done document version
checking. Once that happens, regexing should be fine (assuming the
programmer understands the schema or specification the version info is based
Tracking hierarchy alone is not guaranteed to give you enough context for
fool-proof processing. Why? New cardinalities sneak in as documents change
(there use to be one <pulse>, now there are two). Or perhaps new attributes
and elements get added that have co-occurrence effects (<pulse> has a new
attribute modifier, or <pulse>'s grandparent has a new element that effects
the interpretation of its <pulse> pulse nephew).
Now, no schema or versioned spec is going to guarantee fool-proof
processing, either, but it's more help than merely relying on context of
So that XML defibrillator had better be reading a versioned, validatable
document. I don't care if it uses regex.