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[REBOL] Re: XML examples?

From: gavin:mckenzie:sympatico:ca at: 22-Sep-2001 7:27

A *real* (W3C) XML-DOM is certainly the industrial strength way to manipulate an XML document. But, it sure is a very low-level interface, and not very easy to use. Plus, all the XML-DOM interfaces constitute quite a bit of hefty overhead for node management etc., where REBOL has already has a set of collection types (blocks). In my work-life I work with real XML-DOMs (and XPath and XSLT and...), but the XML-DOM is almost always used just as the low-level storage for the document with a higher-level custom DOM interface that corresponds to the type of document you are manipulating. For instance, if you were processing a particular flavour of XML documents (say banking transactions), building a set of objects that represent those transactions and layering that on top of a W3C XML-DOM gives you a nice high-level interface over the otherwise painfully low-level W3C XML-DOM. I created xml-to-object for sorta the same reason. Despite two years of tinkering with REBOL, I still find navigating through complex block hierarchies tedious. The basic blocked result set from parse-xml is (most of the time) really too high-effort for me to manipulate XML documents. For task at hand, I simply needed a way to be able easily address the content of some known XML document types. REBOLs path syntax is like a small subset of XML's XPath. Hence, by using a couple of basic principles for how to map XML elements, attributes, and mixed-content into REBOL objects, I gain the ability to use the REBOL path syntax for interpreting the content. Though, as it stands, xml-to-object really is only useful for addressing XML document content. There's nothing there to help you with actually making changes to the XML content and writing it back out. Anyway...interesting discussion. I can't say that I had thought about creating a real W3C XML DOM on top of REBOL. I'm curious as to what sort of XML applications people are building with REBOL. A better understanding of the type of XML applications people are building should indicate what type of REBOL XML processing tools we need. Gavin. P.S. Mike has found a nasty bug in my xml-to-object script. I've got some bug fixing to do.