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PRANG - XML graph engine - XML to Moose objects and back!


 # step 1. define a common role for nodes in your XML language
 package XML::Language::Node;
 use Moose::Role;
 sub xmlns { "" }

 # step 2. define the root node(s) of your language
 package XML::Language;
 use Moose;
 use PRANG::Graph;
 sub root_element {
 has_attr 'laziness' =>
      is => "ro",
      isa => "Str",
 has_element 'lust' =>
      is => "ro",
      isa => "XML::Language::Lust",
 with 'PRANG::Graph', 'XML::Language::Node';

 # step 3. define further elements in your schema
 package XML::Language::Lust;
 use Moose;
 use PRANG::Graph;
 use PRANG::XMLSchema::Types;

 has_attr 'gluttony' =>
      is => "ro",
      isa => "PRANG::XMLSchema::byte",
 has_element 'sins' =>
      is => "ro",
      isa => "ArrayRef[XML::Language::Lust|Str]",
      xml_nodeName => {
          'lust' => 'XML::Language::Lust',
          'anger' => 'Str',
 has_element 'greed' =>
      is => "ro",
      isa => "Bool",
 with 'XML::Language::Node';

 # step 4a.  parse!
 my $object = XML::Language->parse(<<XML);
 <envy laziness="Very">
   <lust gluttony="127">
     <anger>You wouldn't like me when I'm angry</anger>
       <anger>You've done it now!</anger>
       <greed />

 # Parsing the above would give you the same structure as this:
     laziness => "Very",
     lust => XML::Language::Lust->new(
         gluttony => 127,
         sins => [
             "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry",
                 sins => [ "You've done it now!" ],
                 greed => 1,

 # step 4b.  emit!
 $format = 1;
 print $object->to_xml($format);


PRANG is an XML Graph engine, which provides post-schema validation objects (PSVO).

It is designed for implementing XML languages for which a description of the valid sets of XML documents is available - for example, a DTD, W3C XML Schema or Relax specification. With PRANG (and, like XML::Toolkit), your class structure is your XML Graph.

XML namespaces are supported, and the module tries to make many XML conventions as convenient as possible in the generated classes. This includes XML data (elements with no attributes and textnode contents), and presence elements (empty elements with no attributes which indicate something). It also supports mixed and unprocessed portions of the XML, and "pluggable" specifications.

Currently, these must be manually constructed as in the example - details on this are to be found on the PRANG::Graph::Meta::Element and PRANG::Graph::Meta::Attr perldoc. There is also a cookbook of examples - see PRANG::Cookbook.

However, eventually it should be possible to automatically process schema documents to produce a class structure (see "KNOWN LIMITATIONS").

Once the PRANG::Graph has been built, you can:

marshall XML in

The PRANG::Marshaller takes any well-formed document parsable by XML::LibXML, and constructs a corresponding set of Moose objects.

A shortcut is available via the parse method on the starting point of the graph (indicated by using the role 'PRANG::Graph').

You can also parse documents which have multiple start nodes, by defining a role which the concrete instances use.

eg, for the example in the SYNOPSIS; define a role 'XML::Language::Family' - the root node will be parsed by the class with a matching root_element (and xmlns) value.

 package XML::Language::Family;
 use Moose::Role;
 with 'PRANG::Graph';

 package XML::Language;
 use Moose;
 with 'XML::Language::Family';

 # later ...
 my $marshaller = PRANG::Marshaller->get("XML::Language::Family");
 my $object = $marshaller->parse($xml);

note the PRANG::Marshaller API will probably go away in a future release, once the "parse" role method is made to work correctly.

marshall XML out

A PRANG::Graph structure also has a to_xml method, which emits XML (optionally indented).

Global Options ^

There are some (well, one at the moment) global options which can be set via:

$PRANG::OPTION = 'value';


Setting this to true will emit all text nodes as CDATA elements rather than just text. Default is false.

Note, for parsing, CDATA and text are treated as the same.

Why "XML Graph"? ^

The term XML Graph is from the paper, "XML Graphs in Program Analysis", Møller and Schwartzbach (2007).

The difference between an Graph and a Tree, is that a Graph can contain cycles, whereas a Tree cannot - there is only one correct way to follow a tree, whereas there can be many correct ways to follow a graph.

So, XML documents are considered to be trees, and the mechanisms which describe allowable forms for those trees XML graphs.

They are graphs, because they can contain cycles - cycles in an XML graph might point back to the same element (indicating an "any number of this element" condition), or point to a different element closer to the initial element (indicating an arbitrary level of nesting).


Support for these features will be considered as tuits allow. If you can create a patch for any of these features which meets the coding standards, they are very likely to be accepted. The authors will provide guidance and/or assistance through this process, time and patience permitting.

Creating XML Graphs from Schema documents

Validating/Parsing schema documents, and transforming those to a PRANG::Graph structure, could well be a valid approach to address these issues and may be addressed by later releases and/or modules which implement those XML languages using PRANG.

Creating XML Graphs from example documents

This is a bit more shonky an approach, but can be very useful for ad-hoc XML conventions for which no rigid definition can be found. Currently, XML::Toolkit is the best module for this.

Validating Indeterminate Graphs

It's possible that at a given point in time, a graph may be followed in more than one direction, and the correct direction cannot be determined based on the currently input token. However, few if any XML languages are this indeterminate, so while many schema languages may allow this to be specified, they should (hopefully) not correspond to major standards.


Source code is available from Catalyst:


And Github:


Please see the file SubmittingPatches for information on preferred submission format.

Suggested avenues for support:


Development commissioned by NZ Registry Services, and carried out by Catalyst IT -

Copyright 2009, 2010, NZ Registry Services. This module is licensed under the Artistic License v2.0, which permits relicensing under other Free Software licenses.

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