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Module Version: 1.04   Source  

NAME ^

XML::Descent - Recursive descent XML parsing

VERSION ^

This document describes XML::Descent version 1.04

SYNOPSIS ^

  use XML::Descent;

  # Create parser
  my $p = XML::Descent->new( { Input => \$xml } );

  # Setup handlers
  $p->on(
    folder => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr ) = @_;

      $p->on(
        url => sub {
          my ( $elem, $attr ) = @_;
          my $link = {
            name => $attr->{name},
            url  => $p->text
          };
        }
      );

      my $folder = $p->walk;
      $folder->{name} = $attr->{name};
    }
  );

  # Parse
  my $res = $p->walk;

DESCRIPTION ^

The conventional models for parsing XML are either DOM (a data structure representing the entire document tree is created) or SAX (callbacks are issued for each element in the XML).

XML grammar is recursive - so it's nice to be able to write recursive parsers for it. XML::Descent allows such parsers to be created.

Typically a new XML::Descent is created and handlers are defined for elements we're interested in

  my $p = XML::Descent->new( { Input => \$xml } );
  $p->on(
    link => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr ) = @_;
      print "Found link: ", $attr->{url}, "\n";
      $p->walk;    # recurse
    }
  );
  $p->walk;        # parse

A handler provides a convenient lexical scope that lasts until the closing tag of the element that triggered the handler is reached.

When called at the top level the parsing methods walk, text and xml parse the whole XML document. When called recursively within a handler they parse the portion of the document nested inside node that triggered the handler.

New handlers may be defined within a handler and their scope will be limited to the XML inside the node that triggered the handler.

INTERFACE ^

new( { options } )

Create a new XML::Descent. Options are supplied has a hash reference. The only option recognised directly by XML::Descent is Input which should be reference to the object that provides the XML source. Any value that can be passed as the first argument to XML::TokeParser->new is allowed.

The remaining options are passed directly to XML::TokeParser. Consult that module's documentation for more details.

walk

Parse part of the XML document tree triggering any handlers that correspond with elements it contains. When called recursively within a handler walk visits all the elements below the element that triggered the handler and then returns.

on( [ element names ], handler )

Register a handler to be called when the named element is encountered. Multiple element names may be supplied as an array reference. Multiple handlers may be registered with one call to on by supplying a number of element, handler pairs.

Calling on within a handler defines a nested local handler whose scope is limited to the containing element. Handlers are called with three arguments: the name of the element that triggered the handler, a hash of the element's attributes and a user defined context value - see context for more about that.

For example:

  $p = XML::Descent->new( { Input => \$some_xml } );

  # Global handler - trigger anywhere an <options> tag is found
  $p->on(
    options => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;

      # Define a nested handler for <name> elements that only
      # applies within the <options> handler.
      $p->on(
        name => sub {
          my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;
          # Get the inner text of the name element
          my $name = $p->text;
          print "Name: $name\n";
        }
      );

      # Recursively walk elements inside <options> triggering
      # any handlers
      $p->walk;
    }
  );

  # Start parsing
  $p->walk;

A handler may call one of the parsing methods (walk, text, xml or get_token) to consume any nested XML before returning. If none of the parsing methods are called nested XML is automatically discarded so that the parser can properly move past the current element.

Nested handlers temporarily override another handler with the same name. A handler named '*' will trigger for all elements for which there is no explicit handler. A nested '*' handler hides all handlers defined in containing scopes.

As a shorthand you may specify a path to a nested element:

  $p->on( 'a/b/c' => sub {
    print "Woo!\n";
  })->walk;

That's equivalent to:

  $p->on( a => sub {
    $p->on( b => sub {
      $p->on( c => sub {
        print "Woo!\n";
      })->walk;
    })->walk;
  })->walk;

Note that this shorthand only applies to on - not to other methods that accept element names.

inherit( [ element names ] )

Inherit handlers from the containing scope. Typically used to import handlers that would otherwise be masked by a catch all '*' handler.

  $p->on(
    'a' => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;
      my $link = $attr->{href} || '';
      my $text = $p->text;
      print "Link: $text ($link)\n";
    }
  );

  $p->on(
    'special' => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;

      # Within <special> we want to handle all
      # tags apart from <a> by printing them out
      $p->on(
        '*' => sub {
          my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;
          print "Found: $elem\n";
        }
      );

      # Get the handler for <a> from our containing
      # scope.
      $p->inherit( 'a' );
      $p->walk;
    }
  );

The inherited handler is the handler that would have applied in the containing scope for an element with the given name. For example:

  $p->on( '*' => sub { print "Whatever\n"; $p->walk; } );
  $p->on(
    'interesting' => sub {
      # Inherits the default 'Whatever' handler because that's the
      # handler that would have been called for <frob> in the
      # containing scope
      $p->inherit( 'frob' );
      # Handle everything else ourselves
      #p->on('*', sub { $p->walk; });
    }
  );

before

Register a handler to be called before the existing handler for an element. As with on multiple elements may be targetted by providing an array ref.

after

Register a handler to be called after the existing handler for an element. As with on multiple elements may be targetted by providing an array ref.

context

Every time a handler is called a new scope is created for it. This allows nested handlers to be defined. The current scope contains a user context variable which can be used, for example, to keep track of an object that is being filled with values parsed from the XML. The context value is inherited from the parent scope but may be overridden locally.

For example:

  my $root = {};

  # Set the outermost context
  $p->context( $root );

  # Handle HTML <a href...> links /anywhere/
  $p->on(
    'a' => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;
      my $link = {
        href => $attr->{href},
        text => $p->text
      };
      push @{ $ctx->{links} }, $link;
    }
  );

  # Links in the body are stored in a nested
  # object.
  $p->on(
    'body' => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;
      my $body = {};
      # Set the context
      $p->context( $body );
      $p->walk;
      $ctx->{body} = $body;
    }
  );

  $p->walk;

Note that the handler for <a href...> tags stores its results in the current context object - whatever that happens to be. That means that outside of any <body> tag links will be stored in $root but within a <body> they will be stored in a nested object ($root->{body}). The <a> handler itself need know nothing of this.

With no parameter context returns the current context. The current context is also passed as the third argument to handlers.

text

Return any text contained within the current element. XML markup is discarded.

xml

Return the unparsed inner XML of the current element. For example:

  $p->on(
    'item' => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;
      my $item_source = $p->xml;
      print "Item: $item_source\n";
    }
  );

If <item> contains XHTML (for example) the above handler would correctly capture it without recursively parsing any elements it contains. Parsing

  <feed>
    <item>This is the <i>first story</i>.</item>
    <item>This is <b>another story</b>.</item>
  </feed>

would print

  Item: This is the <i>first story</i>.
  Item: This is <b>another story</b>.

get_path

Called within a handler returns the path that leads to the current element. For example:

  $p->on(
    'here' => sub {
      my ( $elem, $attr, $ctx ) = @_;
      print "I am here: ", $p->get_path, "\n";
      $p->walk;
    }
  );

would, if applied to this XML

  <outer>
    <inner>
      <here />
    </inner>
    <here />
  </outer>

print

  I am here: /outer/inner/here
  I am here: /outer/here

get_token

XML::Descent is built on XML::TokeParser which splits an XML document into a stream of tokens representing start tags, end tags, literal text, comment and processing instructions. Within an element get_token returns the same stream of tokens that XML::TokeParser would produce. Returns undef once all the tokens contained within the current element have been read (i.e. it's impossible to read past the end of the enclosed XML).

scope_handlers

Get a list of all handlers that are registered locally to the current scope. The returned list won't include '*' if a wildcard handler has been registered.

all_handlers

Get a list of all registered handlers in all scopes. The returned list won't include the '*' wildcard handler.

SEE ALSO ^

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recursive_descent_parser, XML::TokeParser, XML::Twig.

BUGS AND LIMITATIONS ^

XML::Descent uses XML::TokeParser to do the actual parsing. XML::TokeParser can only return start tags, end tags, raw text and processing instructions. As a result xml called at the root of an XML document will exclude any <?xml?> declaration.

No bugs have been reported.

Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-xml-descent@rt.cpan.org, or through the web interface at http://rt.cpan.org.

AUTHOR ^

Andy Armstrong <andy@hexten.net>

LICENCE AND COPYRIGHT ^

Copyright (c) 2006-2009, Andy Armstrong <andy@hexten.net>. All rights reserved.

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. See perlartistic.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY ^

BECAUSE THIS SOFTWARE IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE SOFTWARE, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE SOFTWARE "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE SOFTWARE IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE SOFTWARE PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR, OR CORRECTION.

IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MAY MODIFY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE THE SOFTWARE AS PERMITTED BY THE ABOVE LICENCE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE SOFTWARE (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE SOFTWARE TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER SOFTWARE), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

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