OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]
Re: [xml-dev] Parsing XML with anything but

I have seen this pattern of behaviour goodness knows how many times. I present my grand theory for this, in the form of a story…

Imagine you are not an A-grade software developer. You probably haven’t completed a formal Software Engineering or Computer Science degree. You have meddled with computers enough to be dangerous. You got a job as a web developer or “programmer” (using PHP, Visual Basic, maybe even .NET).

Your learning involves taking some beginner course you googled up. You don’t have the inclination, patience or capability to fully understand your language of choice. You did however find Stack Overflow one day and it changed your life.

Now someone has presented you with these “XML” files to process. You’ve seen enough badmouthing on Stack Overflow to know that JSON is the way forward. So you roll your eyes and you open the XML file only to see these HTML-looking tags <p>…</p>. Piece of cake you think! But then you realise it is not HTML and you can’t use a web browser on it.

So you rummage in your toolbox and find regular expressions, which you know (from Stack Overflow reputation) are powerful for string handling. Within the first 5 minutes you have a working XML parser! This is clearly the easiest way to process the XML, so off you go, hacking and patching until your application (kind of) works.

During the course of your application maintenance cycle you are forever having to update your hand-rolled XML parser. There are so many stupid things XML allows people to do! No wonder everyone is moving to JSON, you think.

</story> :)


From: Ihe Onwuka <ihe.onwuka@gmail.com>
Reply-To: "ihe.onwuka@gmail.com" <ihe.onwuka@gmail.com>
Date: Monday, 9 December 2013 21:20
To: "xml-dev@lists.xml.org" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Subject: [xml-dev] Parsing XML with anything but

I have been tagsouping (thank you thank you John Cowan).

Beautiful Soup, which I first learnt of his on his website seems to be quite widely popular. In fact that rolling your own XML parser seems de-rigeur for each language community, even amongst communities that ought to know better (what terror could XSLT pose for a Haskell dev?) 

So why are people so determined to parse (XHT)ML with anything but the tools that God (....sorry I meant Dr K and co) blessed us with and what do they gain or lose from doing so.

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index]

News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1993-2007 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS