=============================== xml4h: XML for Humans in Python =============================== *xml4h* is an ISC licensed library for Python to make working with XML a human-friendly activity. This library exists because Python is awesome, XML is everywhere, and combining the two should be a pleasure. With *xml4h*, it can be. Features -------- *xml4h* is a simplification layer over existing Python XML processing libraries such as *lxml*, *ElementTree* and the *minidom*. It provides: - a rich pythonic API to traverse and manipulate the XML DOM. - a document builder to simply and safely construct complex documents with minimal code. - a writer that serialises XML documents with the structure and format that you expect, unlike the machine- but not human-friendly output you tend to get from other libraries. The *xml4h* abstraction layer also offers some other benefits, beyond a nice API and tool set: - A common interface to different underlying XML libraries, so code written against *xml4h* need not be rewritten if you switch implementations. - You can easily move between *xml4h* and the underlying implementation: parse your document using the fastest implementation, manipulate the DOM with human-friendly code using *xml4h*, then get back to the underlying implementation if you need to. Installation ------------ Install *xml4h* with pip:: $ pip install xml4h Or install the tarball manually with:: $ python install Links ----- - GitHub for source code and issues: - ReadTheDocs for documentation: - Install from the Python Package Index: Introduction ------------ Here is an example of parsing and reading data from an XML document using "magical" element and attribute lookups:: >>> import xml4h >>> doc = xml4h.parse('tests/data/monty_python_films.xml') >>> for film in doc.MontyPythonFilms.Film[:3]: ... print film['year'], ':', film.Title.text 1971 : And Now for Something Completely Different 1974 : Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1979 : Monty Python's Life of Brian You can also use a more traditional approach to traverse the DOM:: >>> for film in doc.child('MontyPythonFilms').children('Film')[:3]: ... print film.attributes['year'], ':', film.children.first.text 1971 : And Now for Something Completely Different 1974 : Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1979 : Monty Python's Life of Brian The *xml4h* builder makes programmatic document creation simple, with a method-chaining feature that allows for expressive but sparse code that mirrors the document itself:: >>> b = ('MontyPythonFilms') ... .attributes({'source': ''}) ... .element('Film') ... .attributes({'year': 1971}) ... .element('Title') ... .text('And Now for Something Completely Different') ... .up() ... .elem('Description').t( ... "A collection of sketches from the first and second TV" ... " series of Monty Python's Flying Circus purposely" ... " re-enacted and shot for film.").up() ... .up() ... ) >>> # A builder object can be re-used >>> b = (b.e('Film') ... .attrs(year=1974) ... .e('Title').t('Monty Python and the Holy Grail').up() ... .e('Description').t( ... "King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search" ... " for the Holy Grail, encountering humorous obstacles along" ... " the way. Some of these turned into standalone sketches." ... ).up() ... .up() ... ) Pretty-print your XML document with the flexible write() and xml() methods:: >>> b.write_doc(indent=4, newline=True) # doctest: +ELLIPSIS <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <MontyPythonFilms source=""> <Film year="1971"> <Title>And Now for Something Completely Different</Title> <Description>A collection of sketches from ...</Description> </Film> <Film year="1974"> <Title>Monty Python and the Holy Grail</Title> <Description>King Arthur and his knights embark ...</Description> </Film> </MontyPythonFilms> Why? ---- Python has three popular libraries for working with XML, none of which are particularly easy to use: - `xml.dom.minidom <>`_ is a light-weight, moderately-featured implementation of the W3C DOM that is included in the standard library. Unfortunately the W3C DOM API is terrible – the very opposite of pythonic – and the *minidom* does not support XPath expressions. - `xml.etree.ElementTree <>`_ is a fast hierarchical data container that is included in the standard library and can be used to represent XML, mostly. The API is fairly pythonic and supports some basic XPath features, but it lacks some DOM traversal niceties you might expect (e.g. to get an element's parent) and when using it you often feel like your working with something subtly different from XML, because you are. - `lxml <>`_ is a fast, full-featured XML library with an API based on ElementTree but extended. It is your best choice for doing serious work with XML in Python but it is not included in the standard library, it can be difficult to install, and it gives you the same it's-XML-but-not-quite feeling as its ElementTree forebear. Given these three options it can be difficult to choose which library to use, especially if you're new to XML processing in Python and haven't already used (struggled with) any of them. In the past your best bet would have been to go with *lxml* for the most flexibility, even though it might be overkill, because at least then you wouldn't have to rewrite your code if you later find you need XPath support or powerful DOM traversal methods. This is where *xml4h* comes in. It provides an abstraction layer over the existing XML libraries, taking advantage of their power while offering an improved API and tool set. This project is heavily inspired by the work of `Kenneth Reitz <>`_ such as the excellent `Requests HTTP library <>`_. Development Status: beta ------------------------ Currently *xml4h* includes adapter implementations for all three of the main XML processing Python libraries. If you have *lxml* available (highly recommended) it will use that, otherwise it will fall back to use the *(c)ElementTree* then the *minidom* libraries. History ------- 0.2.0 ..... - Add adapter for the *(c)ElementTree* library versions included as standard with Python 2.7+. - Improved "magical" node traversal to work with lowercase tag names without always needing a trailing underscore. See also improved docs. - Fixes for: potential errors ASCII-encoding nodes as strings; default XPath namespace from document node; lookup precedence of xmlns attributes. 0.1.0 ..... - Initial alpha release with support for *lxml* and *minidom* libraries.


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