2007 Barcelona Drupalcon: Drupal and SimpleXML

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Information about 2007 Barcelona Drupalcon: Drupal and SimpleXML

Published on September 25, 2007

Author: walkah

Source: slideshare.net

Drupal and SimpleXML

XML parsing • Very well defined, well known standards • Excellent support ... • ... in most other languages • Long-standing PHP weakness (up to version 4)

two main models

SAX

Simple API for XML • Stream - based xml parsing • Event - driven API • Uni-directional

DOM

Document Object Model • Full object representation of an XML document • Supports writing documents • Same system used by browsers, javascript, etc (i.e. “known quantity”)

Other key concepts • Namespaces: Allow extending existing XML documents • XPath: selector syntax for addressing parts of a document • XSLT: “template” language for transforming XML documents into other formats

DOM in PHP • http://php.net/domxml • Traditionally required external libraries and additional PHP compile flags • Has been removed from PHP core in PHP5 (available as a PECL module) • not really an option for Drupal core

SAX in PHP • Available in PHP 4 & PHP 5 ( --with-xml ) • Closest “built-in” support • (hence what we use in Drupal) • http://php.net/xml

SAX example

SAX example (cont.)

SAX example (cont)

SAX example (cont)

SAX drawbacks • Awkward maintain state across events • Requires prior knowledge of the document • Maybe not so simple (lots to code)

Enter SimpleXML

SimpleXML • DOM-based processing - including xpath • Included in PHP5 • And, um, it’s simple

SimpleXML example

Example file

SimpleXML example

XPath example

SimpleXML + drupal_http_request() ftw

simple webservices

When SimpleXML isn’t simple

namespaces

Example file

Namespaces example

maybe it’s not so bad

XML Writing

XML Writing example

Advantages for Drupal • Shorter, cleaner code (think cleaner aggregator.module, etc) • Manipulatable DOM structure (think hook_xml_alter) • XML Writing (think node_feed, etc)

Thanks, PHP5

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