Perl & XML

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XML is a text-based markup language that has taken the programming world by storm. More powerful than HTML yet less demanding than SGML, XML has proven itself to be flexible and resilient. XML is the perfect tool for formatting documents with even the smallest bit of complexity, from Web pages to legal contracts to books. However, XML has also proven itself to be indispensable for organizing and conveying other sorts of data as well, thus its central role in web services like SOAP and XML-RPC.As the Perl ...

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Perl and XML

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XML is a text-based markup language that has taken the programming world by storm. More powerful than HTML yet less demanding than SGML, XML has proven itself to be flexible and resilient. XML is the perfect tool for formatting documents with even the smallest bit of complexity, from Web pages to legal contracts to books. However, XML has also proven itself to be indispensable for organizing and conveying other sorts of data as well, thus its central role in web services like SOAP and XML-RPC.As the Perl programming language was tailor-made for manipulating text, few people have disputed the fact that Perl and XML are perfectly suited for one another. The only question has been what's the best way to do it. That's where this book comes in.Perl & XML is aimed at Perl programmers who need to work with XML documents and data. The book covers all the major modules for XML processing in Perl, including XML::Simple, XML::Parser, XML::LibXML, XML::XPath, XML::Writer, XML::Pyx, XML::Parser::PerlSAX, XML::SAX, XML::SimpleObject, XML::TreeBuilder, XML::Grove, XML::DOM, XML::RSS, XML::Generator::DBI, and SOAP::Lite. But this book is more than just a listing of modules; it gives a complete, comprehensive tour of the landscape of Perl and XML, making sense of the myriad of modules, terminology, and techniques.This book covers:

  • parsing XML documents and writing them out again
  • working with event streams and SAX
  • tree processing and the Document Object Model
  • advanced tree processing with XPath and XSLT
Most valuably, the last two chapters of Perl & XML give complete examples of XML applications, pulling together all the tools at your disposal. All together, Perl & XML is the single book that gives you a solid grounding in XML processing with Perl.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596002053
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 218
  • Sales rank: 1,238,741
  • Product dimensions: 6.98 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason McIntosh lives and works in and around Boston. He has co-authored two O'Reilly books, Mac OS X in a Nutshell and Perl & XML, and writes occasional columns and weblog entries for the O'Reilly Network. His homepage is at

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Table of Contents

How This Book Is Organized;
Font Conventions;
How to Contact Us;
Chapter 1: Perl and XML;
1.1 Why Use Perl with XML?;
1.2 XML Is Simple with XML::Simple;
1.3 XML Processors;
1.4 A Myriad of Modules;
1.5 Keep in Mind...;
1.6 XML Gotchas;
Chapter 2: An XML Recap;
2.1 A Brief History of XML;
2.2 Markup, Elements, and Structure;
2.3 Namespaces;
2.4 Spacing;
2.5 Entities;
2.6 Unicode, Character Sets, and Encodings;
2.7 The XML Declaration;
2.8 Processing Instructions and Other Markup;
2.9 Free-Form XML and Well-Formed Documents;
2.10 Declaring Elements and Attributes;
2.11 Schemas;
2.12 Transformations;
Chapter 3: XML Basics: Reading and Writing;
3.1 XML Parsers;
3.2 XML::Parser;
3.3 Stream-Based Versus Tree-Based Processing;
3.4 Putting Parsers to Work;
3.5 XML::LibXML;
3.6 XML::XPath;
3.7 Document Validation;
3.8 XML::Writer;
3.9 Character Sets and Encodings;
Chapter 4: Event Streams;
4.1 Working with Streams;
4.2 Events and Handlers;
4.3 The Parser as Commodity;
4.4 Stream Applications;
4.5 XML::PYX;
4.6 XML::Parser;
Chapter 5: SAX;
5.1 SAX Event Handlers;
5.2 DTD Handlers;
5.3 External Entity Resolution;
5.4 Drivers for Non-XML Sources;
5.5 A Handler Base Class;
5.6 XML::Handler::YAWriter as a Base Handler Class;
5.7 XML::SAX: The Second Generation;
Chapter 6: Tree Processing;
6.1 XML Trees;
6.2 XML::Simple;
6.3 XML::Parser's Tree Mode;
6.4 XML::SimpleObject;
6.5 XML::TreeBuilder;
6.6 XML::Grove;
Chapter 7: DOM;
7.1 DOM and Perl;
7.2 DOM Class Interface Reference;
7.3 XML::DOM;
7.4 XML::LibXML;
Chapter 8: Beyond Trees: XPath, XSLT, and More;
8.1 Tree Climbers;
8.2 XPath;
8.3 XSLT;
8.4 Optimized Tree Processing;
Chapter 9: RSS, SOAP, and Other XML Applications;
9.1 XML Modules;
9.2 XML::RSS;
9.3 XML Programming Tools;
9.4 SOAP::Lite;
Chapter 10: Coding Strategies;
10.1 Perl and XML Namespaces;
10.2 Subclassing;
10.3 Converting XML to HTML with XSLT;
10.4 A Comics Index;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    Review of Perl & XML

    XML has begun to appear everywhere. XML has long served in hidden roles on servers and in configuration files. Microsoft Word 2003 for Windows now supports reading and writing XML to in it's wordprocessingML format. Unlike MS Word's horrible 'Save As Web Page' feature, wordprocessingML, or wordML for short, is a clean usable format. The adoption of XML in a user space as common as MS Word in an accessible format means that developers have a rich opportunity in XML. The book Perl and XML focuses on the where Perl and XML meet. In asking the questions 'Why Perl?', the authors Erik Ray and Jason McIntosh point to Perl's ability to handle text, strings, and regular expressions. The authors also point out in a clear and concise manner the strengths of XML as a means for structuring data. The book focuses on working with XML using Perl. Tutorials of the basics of either language are best found in another book. The author of the book recommends Learning Perl for those people starting out in Perl. The book does not assume much knowledge of XML, so it's really an XML book for Perl programmers. If you'd like a more in depth discussion of XML, you might check out Erik Ray's Learning XML. Surveying many conventional XML tools and applications, the book addresses big picture items such as tree processing and streams as well as specific items such as RSS and SOAP. Approaching XML from both a practical point of view and strategic point of view, the author provides detailed examples and observes which strategies work well for handling XML in Perl. Originally, I picked up Perl and XML to address a couple of small projects where I had to deal with XML. The examples in Perl and XML were well written and provided the information I needed to try out common Perl tools for handling XML. Unfortunately, I found that XML processing in Perl was unacceptably slow for the two projects I had at hand. In a short amount of time, I hacked together a faster solution without relying on an XML parser. That said, I gleaned a great deal from Perl and XML which I imagine I will be putting to use soon. If you're not currently working with XML, you may find yourself working sooner than you think. I couldn't more highly recommend Perl and XML for thorough treatment of the subject even if you end up hacking your own solution.

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