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Well, since you bring up your "first reaction"... My first reaction would be to roll my own XML parser in about 30 minutes using some simple regexes (combined into a single, easily understood regex the last time I did this). That takes less time than finding a decent XML module that can parse partial XML, much less also getting it installed, much much less figuring out how to use it.

Adjusting the small block of code to suite your needs and situation becomes trivial compared to getting something as complex (and rigid) as an XML parsing module to bend so. For this occasion I had no use for empty tags so the code ignores them. Fill in what you want to do with them if anything.

Naturally, I had no use for the nearly completely useless feature of CDATA so I didn't even worry about the regex to parse that junk. If you need it (the OP doesn't appear to), adding that feature is 5, maybe 10 minutes' work.

Actually, I started out trying to use some XML module that had gotten decent reviews somewhere. I had it all working on the sample data and then when I finished the "download the data" part, the XML part suddenly just stopped working. It told me that there was no 'foo' tag despite '<foo ...' being clearly there and that being recognized as a 'foo' tag previously. Eventually I figured out that XML namespaces were to blame and after too much time trying to even find any documentation on such things in relation to the module, I decided to write a regex so I could have something working that day.

Took less time to write the regex and get it working than it had taken me to get the module working on the test data. And the resulting code is just tons easier to make adjustments to.

sub ParseXmlString { my( $str )= @_; my $name= '(?:\w+:)?\w+'; my $value= q< (?: '[^']+' | "[^"]+" ) >; my $s= '\s'; my $attrib= "$name $s* = $s* $value"; my $decl= "< $s* [?] $s* $name (?: $s+ $attrib )* $s* [?] $s* >" +; my $tag= "< $s* (/?) $s* ($name) (?: $s+ $attrib )* $s* (/?) $s +* >"; my $data= '(?: [^<>&]+ | &\#?\w+; )+'; my $hv= {}; my @stack; while( $str =~ m{ \G(?: ( $decl ) # $1 <?xml ...?> | ( $data ) # $2 encoded text | ( $tag ) # $3 <...>, $4 '/' or '', $5 tag name, $6 '/' +or '' | ( . ) # $7 we failed ) }xgc ) { if( $1 ) { $hv->{'.header'}= $1; } elsif( defined $2 ) { my $text= $2; if( $text =~ /\S/ ) { s-&lt;-<-g, s-&quot;-"-g, s-&gt;->-g, s-&apos;-'-g, s-&amp;-&-g for $text; push @{ $hv->{'.data'} }, $text; } } elsif( $4 ) { $hv= pop @stack; } elsif( $6 ) { # We currently just ignore empty tags } elsif( $3 ) { my $new= {}; push @{ $hv->{$5} }, $new; push @stack, $hv; $hv= $new; } elsif( defined $7 ) { my $beg= pos($str); my $len= 20; $beg -= $len/2; if( $beg < 0 ) { $len += $beg; $beg= 0; } die "XML failed to parse byte ", pos($str), " ($7), near ' +", substr( $str, $beg, $len ), "'.\n"; } else { die "Impossible!"; } } if( @stack ) { die "Unclosed XML tags"; } return $hv; }

- tye        

In reply to Re^2: parsing XML fragments (xml log files) with... a regex by tye
in thread parsing XML fragments (xml log files) with XML::Parser by kgoess

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