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Curtis Lee Fulton > XML-EasySQL-1.2 > XML::EasySQL::XMLobj



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Module Version: 1.2   Source  


XML::EasySQL::XMLobj - Fork of Robert Hanson's killer XML::EasyOBJ module, which offers Easy XML object navigation


Version 1.2


XML::EasySQL::XMLobj is a fork of Robert Hanson's XML::EasyOBJ module. The goal of the fork was to simplify inheritance issues. However, easy inheritance comes at a cost: class method names can no longer be dynamically renamed. If inheritance isn't needed and you desire the dynamic method renaming feature, I suggest you download Hanson's original XML::EasyOBJ module from CPAN.

NOTE: The rest of the documentation for this module was written by Robert Hanson

-Curtis Lee Fulton

 # open exisiting file
 my $doc = new XML::EasySQL::XMLobj({type => 'file', param => 'my_xml_document.xml'});

 # create object from XML string
 my $doc = new XML::EasySQL::XMLobj({type => 'string', -param => $xml_source});

 # create new file
 my $doc = new XML::EasySQL::XMLobj({type => 'new', param => 'root_tag'});

 # read from document
 my $text = $doc->root->some_element($index)->getString;
 my $attr = $doc->root->some_element($index)->getAttr('foo');
 my $element = $doc->root->some_element($index);
 my @elements = $doc->root->some_element;

 # first "some_element" element
 my $elements = $doc->root->some_element;
 # list of "some_element" elements
 my @elements = $doc->root->some_element;

 # write to document
 $doc->root->an_element->setString('some string')
 $doc->root->an_element->addString('some string')
 $doc->root->an_element->setAttr('attrname', 'val')
 $doc->root->an_element->setAttr('attr1' => 'val', 'attr2' => 'val2')

 # access elements with non-name chars and the underlying DOM
 my $element = $doc->root->getElement('foo-bar')->getElement('bar-none');
 my $dom = $doc->root->foobar->getDomObj;

 # get elements without specifying the element name
 my @elements = $doc->root->getElement();
 my $sixth_element = $doc->root->getElement('', 5);

 # remove elements/attrs
 $doc->root->remElement('tagname', $index);


I wrote XML::EasyOBJ a couple of years ago because it seemed to me that the DOM wasn't very "perlish" and the DOM is difficult for us mere mortals that don't use it on a regular basis. As I only need to process XML on an occasionally I wanted an easy way to do what I needed to do without having to refer back to DOM documentation each time.

A quick fact list about XML::EasySQL::XMLobj:

 * Runs on top of XML::DOM
 * Allows access to the DOM as needed
 * Simple routines to reading and writing elements/attributes


XML::EasySQL::XMLobj uses XML::DOM. XML::DOM is available from CPAN (


Below is a description of the class constructor. See XML::EasySQL::XMLobj::Node for the method documentation.


You can create a new object from an XML file, a string of XML, or a new document. The constructor takes an anon hash with the following keys:


The type is either "file", "string" or "new". "file" will create the object from a file source, "string" will create the object from a string of XML code, and "new" will create a new document object.


This value depends on the -type that is passed to the constructor. If the -type is "file" this will be the filename to open and parse. If -type is "string", this is a string of XML code. If -type is "new", this is the name of the root element.


If you've made a derived class from XML::EasySQL::XMLnode, specify the class name here. It defaults to XML::EasySQL::XMLobj::Node.

If you're using constructor_class, any additional keys will be passed on to the XML::EasySQL::XMLobj::Node derived class.

Creating an object from an XML file:

 my $doc = new XML::EasySQL::XMLobj({type => 'file', param => 'my_xml_document.xml'});

Creating an object from a string containing the XML source:

 my $doc = new XML::EasySQL::XMLobj({type => 'string', param => $xml_source});

Creating a new XML document by passing the root tag name:

 my $doc = new XML::EasySQL::XMLobj({type => 'new', param => 'root_tag'});


The root XML::EasySQL::XMLobj::Node object.


Returns a hash ref of args. If you're using a derived node class, you can change the args the node constructor gets by modifying this hash.



You too can write XML applications, just as long as you understand the basics of XML (elements and attributes). You can learn to write your first program that can read data from an XML file in a mere 10 minutes.


It is assumed that you are familiar with the structure of the document that you are reading. Next, you must know the basics of perl lists, loops, and how to call a function. You must also have an XML document to read.

Simple eh?

Loading the XML document

 use XML::EasySQL::XMLobj;
 my $doc = new XML::EasySQL::XMLobj({type=>'file', param=>'my_xml_document.xml'});

Replace the string "my_xml_document.xml" with the name of your XML document. If the document is in another directory you will need to specify the path to it as well.

The variable $doc is an object, and represents our root XML element in the document.

Reading text with getString

Each element becomes an object. So lets assume that the XML page looks like this:

   <rec2 foo="bar">
   <rec2 foo="baz">

As mentioned in he last step, the $doc object is the root element of the XML page. In this case the root element is the "table" element.

To read the text of any field is as easy as navigating the XML elements. For example, lets say that we want to retrieve the text "field2e". This text is in the "field2" element of the SECOND "rec2" element, which is in the FIRST "record" element.

So the code to print that value it looks like this:

 print $doc->root->record(0)->rec2(1)->field2->getString;

The "getString" method returns the text within an element.

We can also break it down like this:

 # grab the FIRST "record" element (index starts at 0)
 my $record = $doc->root->record(0);

 # grab the SECOND "rec2" element within $record
 my $rec2 = $record->rec2(1);

 # grab the "field2" element from $rec2
 # NOTE: If you don't specify an index, the first item 
 #       is returned and in this case there is only 1.
 my $field2 = $rec2->field2;

 # print the text
 print $field2->getString;

Reading XML attributes with getAttr

Looking at the example in the previous step, can you guess what this code will print?

 print $doc->root->record(0)->rec2(0)->getAttr('foo');
 print $doc->root->record(0)->rec2(1)->getAttr('foo');

If you couldn't guess, they will print out the value of the "foo" attribute of the first and second rec2 elements.

Looping through elements

Lets take our example in the previous step where we printed the attribute values and rewrite it to use a loop. This will allow it to print all of the "foo" attributes no matter how many "rec2" elements we have.

 foreach my $rec2 ( $doc->root->record(0)->rec2 ) {
   print $rec2->getAttr('foo');

When we call $doc->record(0)->rec2 this way (i.e. in list context), the module will return a list of "rec2" elements.

That's it!

You are now an XML programmer! *start rejoicing now*


Both XML::EasySQL::XMLobj and XML::EasySQL::XMLobj::Node can be used as base classes.

When creating a new instance of XML::EasySQL::XMLobj it will return an object reference on success, or die on failure. Besides that, ALL methods will always return a value. This means that if you specify an element that does not exist, it will still return an object reference (and create that element automagically). This is just another way to lower the bar, and make this module easier to use.

You will run into problems if you have XML tags which are named after perl's special subroutine names (i.e. "DESTROY", "AUTOLOAD"), or if they are named after subroutines used in the module ( "getString", "getAttr", etc ). You can get around this by using the getElement() method. If you need to rename the methods dynamically, (except AUTOLOAD and DESTROY), try Hanson's original from CPAN.


Copyright (C) 2000-2002 Robert Hanson <>

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

Forked by Curtis Lee Fulton 2-29-04.




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