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using xml::simple with unknown xml structure

by ctaustin (Sexton)
on Jul 14, 2005 at 14:05 UTC ( #474874=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
ctaustin has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have an xml file whose structure basically contains one known tag, the root, and several tags within this that are not known.
<tables> <junk1 type="junk1" name="rates" requiredfields="date,rate"/> <junk2 type="junk2" name="demands" requiredfields=""/> <detail name="schema.detail" requiredfields="date,rate,scenarioname" +> <date mnemonic="date" name="The_Date" type="date" size="8"/> <rate mnemonic="rate" name="RATE" type="number" size=""/> </detail> <xyz name="" requiredfields="obsdate,wac,wala,wam"> <obsdate mnemonic="obsdate" name="asofdate" type="summed" calc="to +_char(asofdate,'mm/dd/yyyy')" size="8" required="false" cohort="true" +/> <model mnemonic="model" name="model" type="summed" size="" require +d="true" cohort="true" calc="trim('model')"/> <new mnemonic="new" name="ISNEW" type="char" size="" required="fal +se" cohort="true"/> <loancount mnemonic="loancount" name="LoanCount" type="summed" siz +e="8" required="false" cohort="fale" calc="sum(LOANCOUNT)"/> <cpr mnemonic="cpr" name="CPR" type="summed" size="8" calc="CASE WHEN SUM(a) != 0 THEN round((1-power(1-sum(b/ +100*a)/sum(a),12))*100,2) ELSE SUM(0) END" required="true" cohort="fa +lse"/> </xyz> </tables

I need to produce an output file from this that looks like:
table name   field name   type   size   required   calc

I am trying to use XML::Simple to do this. However all of the examples I have found use a XML file that has a more defined form so that you can reference specific nodes. The issue I have is that new tables are being added to, so I need be be able to loop over these items generically.

I tried the following:
my $xml = XMLin($xfile,ForceArray=>1)||die("unable to perform 'in' n") +; foreach $table (keys %{$xml->{tables}}){ print "$table\n"; }
thinking this would give me junk1, junk2, detail, and xyz but it actually doesn't return anything. It runs, but nothing is output. I thought that if I could this, I could then reference the tag elements like mnemonic and name with something like  $name=$xml->{$table}->{name};.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: using xml::simple with unknown xml structure
by shiza (Hermit) on Jul 14, 2005 at 16:15 UTC
    This code worked for me (using OO interface):
    #!/usr/bin/perl use strict; use XML::Simple; use Data::Dumper; my $xml_obj = XML::Simple->new(ForceArray => ['tables']); # xml my $xml = $xml_obj->XMLin('test.xml'); print Dumper($xml); exit;
    Also, double check for any errors in your xml file.

    Code w/ loop:
      What is happening is that the top level tag doesnt exist in the input structure. This is always the case with XML::Simple from what i know. So for your file, the top-level keys in the $xml hash will be the tags directly under the outer enclosing table tag.

      Just started using XML::Simple a couple weeks ago myself, it takes a bit to get used to, but becomes quite powerful once you get used to it.

        It looks like the object oriented method is getting me what I needed. I don't see a whole lot of difference with what I tried, but I am thrilled that it is working. Thanks everyone for the support.
Re: using xml::simple with unknown xml structure
by injunjoel (Priest) on Jul 14, 2005 at 17:50 UTC
    Greetings all,
    A bit off topic but here is a little script I use to investigate how XML::Simple is parsing my *.xml files
    This is meant to be run from the same directory that contains the xml files. Nothing novel but I find it useful.
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w use strict; use XML::Simple; use Data::Dumper; #get all the .xml files from this base directory unless(opendir(CNF, '.')){ die "Unable to open directory for reading\n"; } my @config_files = sort grep { /\.xml$/ && -f "$_"} readdir(CNF); #clean up close CNF; DISPLAY: { print "Please select a file for parsing:\n"; for(my $i = 1; $i-1 < scalar(@config_files); $i++){ print "\t$i. $config_files[$i-1]\n"; } print "\n\t# "; } my ($filenum, $filename); chomp($filenum = <STDIN>); if($filenum !~ /^\d$/){ print "Please select the number\n"; goto DISPLAY; }else{ $filename = $config_files[$filenum-1]; } unless(open(CNF, $filename)){ die "unable to open XML config file". $!; }else{ my $file = do {local $/ = undef; <CNF>}; close CNF; my $xs = new XML::Simple(); my $ref = $xs->XMLin($file); print "\nXML structure (current).\n"; print Dumper($ref); print "\n"; ENDING:{ print "\n Q to quit\n"; my $key; chomp($key = <STDIN>); unless($key =~ /q/i){ goto ENDING; }else{ exit; } } }

    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." -Galileo

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