Pat Deegan > XML-Mini > XML::Mini::Element

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NAME ^

XML::Mini::Element - Perl implementation of the XML::Mini Element API.

SYNOPSIS ^

        use XML::Mini::Document;
        
        my $xmlDoc = XML::Mini::Document->new();
        
        # Fetch the ROOT element for the document
        # (an instance of XML::Mini::Element)
        my $xmlElement = $xmlDoc->getRoot();
        
        # Create an <?xml?> tag
        my $xmlHeader = $xmlElement->header('xml');
        
        # add the version to get <?xml version="1.0"?>
        $xmlHeader->attribute('version', '1.0');
        
        # Create a sub element
        my $newChild = $xmlElement->createChild('mychild');
        
        $newChild->text('hello mommy');
        
        
        # Create an orphan element
        
        my $orphan = $xmlDoc->createElement('annie');
        
        $orphan->attribute('hair', '#ff0000');
        $orphan->text('tomorrow, tomorrow');
        
        # Adopt the orphan
        $newChild->appendChild($orphan);
        
        
        # ...
        # add a child element to the front of the list 
        $xmlElement->prependChild($otherElement);
        
        print $xmlDoc->toString();

The code above would output:

<?xml version="1.0" ?> <mychild> hello mommy <annie hair="#ff0000"> tomorrow, tomorrow </annie> </mychild>

DESCRIPTION ^

Although the main handle to the xml document is the XML::Mini::Document object, much of the functionality and manipulation involves interaction with Element objects.

A Element has:

 - a name
 - a list of 0 or more attributes (which have a name and a value)
 - a list of 0 or more children (Element or XML::MiniNode objects)
 - a parent (optional, only if MINIXML_AUTOSETPARENT > 0)

new NAME

Creates a new instance of XML::Mini::Element, with name NAME

name [NEWNAME]

If a NEWNAME string is passed, the Element's name is set to NEWNAME.

Returns the element's name.

attribute NAME [SETTO [SETTOALT]]

The attribute() method is used to get and set the Element's attributes (ie the name/value pairs contained within the tag, <tagname attrib1="value1" attrib2="value2">)

If SETTO is passed, the attribute's value is set to SETTO.

If the optional SETTOALT is passed and SETTO is false, the attribute's value is set to SETTOALT. This is usefull in cases when you wish to set the attribute to a default value if no SETTO is present, eg $myelement->attribute('href', $theHref, 'http://psychogenic.com') will default to 'http://psychogenic.com'.

Returns the value associated with attribute NAME.

text [SETTO [SETTOALT]]

The text() method is used to get or append text data to this element (it is appended to the child list as a new XML::MiniNode object).

If SETTO is passed, a new node is created, filled with SETTO and appended to the list of this element's children.

If the optional SETTOALT is passed and SETTO is false, the new node's value is set to SETTOALT. See the attribute() method for an example use.

Returns a string composed of all child XML::MiniNodes' contents.

Note: all the children XML::MiniNodes' contents - including numeric nodes are included in the return string.

numeric [SETTO [SETTOALT]]

The numeric() method is used to get or append numeric data to this element (it is appended to the child list as a XML::MiniNode object).

If SETTO is passed, a new node is created, filled with SETTO and appended to the list of this element's children.

If the optional SETTOALT is passed and SETTO is false, the new node's value is set to SETTOALT. See the attribute() method for an example use.

Returns a space seperated string composed all child XML::MiniNodes' numeric contents.

Note: ONLY numerical contents are included from the list of child XML::MiniNodes.

header NAME

The header() method allows you to add a new XML::Mini::Element::Header to this element's list of children.

Headers return a <? NAME ?> string for the element's toString() method. Attributes may be set using attribute(), to create headers like <?xml-stylesheet href="doc.xsl" type="text/xsl"?>

Valid XML documents must have at least an 'xml' header, like: <?xml version="1.0" ?>

Here's how you could begin creating an XML document:

        my $miniXMLDoc =  XML::Mini::Document->new();
        my $xmlRootNode = $miniXMLDoc->getRoot();
        my $xmlHeader = $xmlRootNode->header('xml');
        $xmlHeader->attribute('version', '1.0');

This method was added in version 1.25.

comment CONTENTS

The comment() method allows you to add a new XML::Mini::Element::Comment to this element's list of children.

Comments will return a <!-- CONTENTS --> string when the element's toString() method is called.

Returns a reference to the newly appended XML::Mini::Element::Comment

docType DEFINITION

Append a new <!DOCTYPE DEFINITION [ ...]> element as a child of this element.

Returns the appended DOCTYPE element. You will normally use the returned element to add ENTITY elements, like

 my $newDocType = $xmlRoot->docType('spec SYSTEM "spec.dtd"');
 $newDocType->entity('doc.audience', 'public review and discussion');

entity NAME VALUE

Append a new <!ENTITY NAME "VALUE"> element as a child of this element.

Returns the appended ENTITY element.

cdata CONTENTS

Append a new <![CDATA[ CONTENTS ]]> element as a child of this element. Returns the appended CDATA element.

getValue

Returns a string containing the value of all the element's child XML::MiniNodes (and all the XML::MiniNodes contained within it's child Elements, recursively).

getElement NAME [POSITION]

Searches the element and it's children for an element with name NAME.

Returns a reference to the first Element with name NAME, if found, NULL otherwise.

NOTE: The search is performed like this, returning the first element that matches:

 - Check this element's immediate children (in order) for a match.
 - Ask each immediate child (in order) to Element::getElement()
  (each child will then proceed similarly, checking all it's immediate
  children in order and then asking them to getElement())

If a numeric POSITION parameter is passed, getElement() will return the POSITIONth element of name NAME (starting at 1). Thus, on document

  <?xml version="1.0"?>
  <people>
   <person>
    bob
   </person>
   <person>
    jane
   </person>
   <person>
    ralph
   </person>
  </people>

$people->getElement('person') will return the element containing the text node 'bob', while $people->getElement('person', 3) will return the element containing the text 'ralph'.

getElementByPath PATH [POSITIONSARRAY]

Attempts to return a reference to the (first) element at PATH where PATH is the path in the structure (relative to this element) to the requested element.

For example, in the document represented by:

         <partRateRequest>
          <vendor>
           <accessid user="myusername" password="mypassword" />
          </vendor>
          <partList>
           <partNum>
            DA42
           </partNum>
           <partNum>
            D99983FFF
           </partNum>
           <partNum>
            ss-839uent
           </partNum>
          </partList>
         </partRateRequest>

        $partRate = $xmlDocument->getElement('partRateRequest');

        $accessid = $partRate->getElementByPath('vendor/accessid');

Will return what you expect (the accessid element with attributes user = "myusername" and password = "mypassword").

BUT be careful: $accessid = $partRate->getElementByPath('partList/partNum');

will return the partNum element with the value "DA42". To access other partNum elements you must either use the POSITIONSARRAY or the getAllChildren() method on the partRateRequest element.

POSITIONSARRAY functions like the POSITION parameter to getElement(), but instead of specifying the position of a single element, you must indicate the position of all elements in the path. Therefore, to get the third part number element, you would use

        my $thirdPart = $xmlDocument->getElementByPath('partRateRequest/partList/partNum', 1, 1, 3);

The additional 1,1,3 parameters indicate that you wish to retrieve the 1st partRateRequest element in the document, the 1st partList child of partRateRequest and the 3rd partNum child of the partList element (in this instance, the partNum element that contains 'ss-839uent').

Returns the Element reference if found, NULL otherwise.

getAllChildren [NAME]

Returns a reference to an array of all this element's Element children

Note: although the Element may contain XML::MiniNodes as children, these are not part of the returned list.

createChild ELEMENTNAME [VALUE]

Creates a new Element instance and appends it to the list of this element's children. The new child element's name is set to ELEMENTNAME.

If the optional VALUE (string or numeric) parameter is passed, the new element's text/numeric content will be set using VALUE.

Returns a reference to the new child element

appendChild CHILDELEMENT

appendChild is used to append an existing Element object to this element's list.

Returns a reference to the appended child element.

NOTE: Be careful not to create loops in the hierarchy, eg

 $parent->appendChild($child);
 $child->appendChild($subChild);
 $subChild->appendChild($parent);

If you want to be sure to avoid loops, set the MINIXML_AVOIDLOOPS define to 1 or use the avoidLoops() method (will apply to all children added with createChild())

prependChild CHILDELEMENT

prependChild is used to add an existing Element object to this element's list. The added CHILDELEMENT will be prepended to the list, thus it will appear first in the XML output.

Returns a reference to the prepended child element.

See the note about creating loops in the above appendChild() description.

insertChild CHILDELEMENT INDEX

Inserts the child element at a specific location in this elements list of children.

If INDEX is larger than numChildren(), the CHILDELEMENT will be added to the end of the list (same as appendChild() ).

Returns the inserted child element.

removeChild CHILDELEMENT

Removes the element CHILDELEMENT from the list of this element's children, if it is found within this list.

Returns the child element that was removed, else undef.

removeAllChildren

Clears the element's list of child elements. Returns an array ref of child elements that were removed.

remove

Removes this element from it's parent's list of children. The parent must be set for the element for this method to work - this can be done manually using the parent() method or automatically if $XML::Mini::AutoSetParent is true (set to false by default).

parent NEWPARENT

The parent() method is used to get/set the element's parent.

If the NEWPARENT parameter is passed, sets the parent to NEWPARENT (NEWPARENT must be an instance of Element)

Returns a reference to the parent Element if set, NULL otherwise.

Note: This method is mainly used internally and you wouldn't normally need to use it. It get's called on element appends when $XML::Mini::AutoSetParent or $XML::Mini::AvoidLoops or avoidLoops() > 0

avoidLoops SETTO

The avoidLoops() method is used to get or set the avoidLoops flag for this element.

When avoidLoops is true, children with parents already set can NOT be appended to any other elements. This is overkill but it is a quick and easy way to avoid infinite loops in the heirarchy.

The avoidLoops default behavior is configured with the $XML::Mini::AvoidLoops variable but can be set on individual elements (and automagically all the element's children) with the avoidLoops() method.

Returns the current value of the avoidLoops flag for the element.

toString [SPACEOFFSET]

toString returns an XML string based on the element's attributes, and content (recursively doing the same for all children)

The optional SPACEOFFSET parameter sets the number of spaces to use after newlines for elements at this level (adding 1 space per level in depth). SPACEOFFSET defaults to 0.

If SPACEOFFSET is passed as $XML::Mini::NoWhiteSpaces no \n or whitespaces will be inserted in the xml string (ie it will all be on a single line with no spaces between the tags.

Returns the XML string.

createNode NODEVALUE

Private (?)

Creates a new XML::MiniNode instance and appends it to the list of this element's children. The new child node's value is set to NODEVALUE.

Returns a reference to the new child node.

Note: You don't need to use this method normally - it is used internally when appending text() and such data.

appendNode CHILDNODE

appendNode is used to append an existing XML::MiniNode object to this element's list.

Returns a reference to the appended child node.

Note: You don't need to use this method normally - it is used internally when appending text() and such data.

AUTHOR ^

Copyright (C) 2002-2008 Patrick Deegan, Psychogenic Inc.

Programs that use this code are bound to the terms and conditions of the GNU GPL (see the LICENSE file). If you wish to include these modules in non-GPL code, you need prior written authorisation from the authors.

This library is released under the terms of the GNU GPL version 3, making it available only for free programs ("free" here being used in the sense of the GPL, see http://www.gnu.org for more details). Anyone wishing to use this library within a proprietary or otherwise non-GPLed program MUST contact psychogenic.com to acquire a distinct license for their application. This approach encourages the use of free software while allowing for proprietary solutions that support further development.

LICENSE

    XML::Mini::Element module, part of the XML::Mini XML parser/generator package.
    Copyright (C) 2002-2008 Patrick Deegan
    All rights reserved
    
    XML::Mini is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    XML::Mini is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with XML::Mini.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

Official XML::Mini site: http://minixml.psychogenic.com

Contact page for author available on http://www.psychogenic.com/

SEE ALSO ^

XML::Mini, XML::Mini::Document

http://minixml.psychogenic.com

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