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How to remove empty XML elements using XML::LibXML

by FreakyGreenLeaky (Sexton)
on Feb 17, 2013 at 19:22 UTC ( #1019196=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
FreakyGreenLeaky has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Evening robe-rufflers... I have next to zero experience with XML and XML::LibXML and I hope someone can shed some light on the following.

Basically, I want to remove some empty elements in XML.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <epp xmlns="urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:epp-1.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.o +rg/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="urn:ietf:params:xml:n +s:epp-1.0 epp-1.0.xsd"> <command> <update> <contact:update xmlns:contact="urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:contact-1. +0" xsi:schemaLocation="urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:contact-1.0 contact-1.0 +.xsd"> <contact:id>testaccount3</contact:id> <contact:add/> <contact:rem/>

I need to remove those last two empty elements, but I'm guessing the namespace stuff (or something) is a factor.

I've naively tried the following:

for my $remove ($frame->findnodes(q{/command/update/contact:update/con +tact:add})) { $remove->unbindNode; }

Edit: using the above findnodes() results in the error:

XPath error : Undefined namespace prefix error : xmlXPathCompiledEval: evaluation failed
But I must admit I'm clueless here and would appreciate some pointers.

I've been looking at the source which creates the XML:

sub new { my $package = shift; my $self = bless($package->SUPER::new('update'), $package); my $contact = $self->addObject(Net::EPP::Frame::ObjectSpec->spec(' +contact')); foreach my $grp (qw(add rem chg)) { my $el = $self->createElement(sprintf('contact:%s', $grp)); $self->getNode('update')->getChildNodes->shift->appendChild($e +l); } return $self; }
And I must confess to being mightily tempted to just remove add rem from the foreach. This works, but it makes me feel decidedly dirty - and I might need those elements in the future.


my $p = $frame->getElementsByTagName('contact:update'); foreach my $n ($p->[0]->childNodes()) { $p->[0]->removeChild($n) if $n->toString(1) eq "<contact:add/> +"; }
Not very elegant, but it works. If someone knows of a better way, I'd love to hear it.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: How to remove empty XML elements using XML::LibXML
by choroba (Bishop) on Feb 17, 2013 at 20:40 UTC
    If you want to use a namespace prefix, you have to register it first:
    #!/usr/bin/perl use warnings; use strict; use XML::LibXML; my $xml = XML::LibXML->load_xml( location => '1.xml'); my $xpc = XML::LibXML::XPathContext->new($xml); $xpc->registerNs('contact', 'urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:contact-1.0'); for my $name (qw(rem add)) { for my $node ($xpc->findnodes("//contact:$name".'[not(*|text()|@*| +processing-instruction()|comment())]', $xml->documentElement)) { $node = $node->parentNode->removeChild($node); } } print $xml->serialize;
    لսႽ ᥲᥒ⚪⟊Ⴙᘓᖇ Ꮅᘓᖇ⎱ Ⴙᥲ𝇋ƙᘓᖇ

      Thanks - that works perfectly when operating on 1.xml or another XML document object.

      Your sample uncovered another layer/problem:

      my XML document comes from Net::EPP::Frame ( says "This module implements a subclass of the XML::LibXML::Document..."), so I'm doing something wrong when I try:

      use Net::EPP::Frame; my $frame = Net::EPP::Frame::Command::Update::Contact->new; #... my $xpc = XML::LibXML::XPathContext->new($frame); $xpc->registerNs('contact', 'urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:contact-1.0'); for my $name (qw(rem add)) { for my $node ($xpc->findnodes("//contact:$name".'[not(*|text() +|@*|processing-instruction()|comment())]', $frame->documentElement)) +{ $node = $node->parentNode->removeChild($node); } } print $frame->toString(1);

      My thinking is that because Net::EPP::Frame inherits from XML::LibXML::Document, I should be able to operate on $frame (the XML document) similarly to your original solution... but I'm missing something.

        I have no experience with Net::EPP::Frame. What error do you get, or how is the output different from your expectations? Also, what does ref $frame say?
        لսႽ ᥲᥒ⚪⟊Ⴙᘓᖇ Ꮅᘓᖇ⎱ Ⴙᥲ𝇋ƙᘓᖇ
Re: How to remove empty XML elements using XML::LibXML
by Anonymous Monk on Feb 17, 2013 at 23:16 UTC
      Thanks Anonymous One, I'll definitely study those references to gain a better understanding...

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