The xmllib Module

The xmlib module provides a simple XML parser, using regular expressions to pull the XML data apart, as shown in Example 5-1. The parser does basic checks on the document, such as a check to see that there is only one top-level element and a check to see that all tags are balanced.

You feed XML data to this parser piece by piece (as data arrives over a network, for example). The parser calls methods in itself for start tags, data sections, end tags, and entities, among other things.

If you're only interested in a few tags, you can define special start_tag and end_tag methods, where tag is the tag name. The start functions are called with the attributes given as a dictionary.

Example 5-1. Using the xmllib Module to Extract Information from an Element

File: xmllib-example-1.py

import xmllib

class Parser(xmllib.XMLParser):
 # get quotation number

 def _ _init_ _(self, file=None):
 xmllib.XMLParser._ _init_ _(self)
 if file:

 def load(self, file):
 while 1:
 s = file.read(512)
 if not s:

 def start_quotation(self, attrs):
 print "id =>", attrs.get("id")
 raise EOFError

 c = Parser()
except EOFError:

id => 031

Example 5-2 contains a simple (and incomplete) rendering engine. The parser maintains an element stack (_ _tags), which it passes to the renderer, together with text fragments. The renderer looks up the current tag hierarchy in a style dictionary, and if it isn't already there, it creates a new style descriptor by combining bits and pieces from the stylesheet.

Example 5-2. Using the xmllib Module

File: xmllib-example-2.py

import xmllib
import string, sys

 # each element can contribute one or more style elements
 "quotation": {"style": "italic"},
 "lang": {"weight": "bold"},
 "name": {"weight": "medium"},

class Parser(xmllib.XMLParser):
 # a simple styling engine

 def _ _init_ _(self, renderer):
 xmllib.XMLParser._ _init_ _(self)
 self._ _data = []
 self._ _tags = []
 self._ _renderer = renderer

 def load(self, file):
 while 1:
 s = file.read(8192)
 if not s:

 def handle_data(self, data):
 self._ _data.append(data)

 def unknown_starttag(self, tag, attrs):
 if self._ _data:
 text = string.join(self._ _data, "")
 self._ _renderer.text(self._ _tags, text)
 self._ _tags.append(tag)
 self._ _data = []

 def unknown_endtag(self, tag):
 self._ _tags.pop()
 if self._ _data:
 text = string.join(self._ _data, "")
 self._ _renderer.text(self._ _tags, text)
 self._ _data = []

class DumbRenderer:

 def _ _init_ _(self):
 self.cache = {}

 def text(self, tags, text):
 # render text in the style given by the tag stack
 tags = tuple(tags)
 style = self.cache.get(tags)
 if style is None:
 # figure out a combined style
 style = {}
 for tag in tags:
 s = STYLESHEET.get(tag)
 if s:
 self.cache[tags] = style # update cache
 # write to standard output
 sys.stdout.write("%s =>
" % style)
 sys.stdout.write(" " + repr(text) + "

# try it out

r = DumbRenderer()
c = Parser(r)

{'style': 'italic'} =>
 'I've had a lot of developers come up to me and12say,
 "I haven't had this much fun in a long time. It sure
 beats12writing '
{'style': 'italic', 'weight': 'bold'} =>
{'style': 'italic'} =>
 '" -- '
{'style': 'italic', 'weight': 'medium'} =>
 'James Gosling'
{'style': 'italic'} =>
 ', on12'
{'weight': 'bold'} =>
{'style': 'italic'} =>

Core Modules

More Standard Modules

Threads and Processes

Data Representation

File Formats

Mail and News Message Processing

Network Protocols


Multimedia Modules

Data Storage

Tools and Utilities

Platform-Specific Modules

Implementation Support Modules

Other Modules

Python Standard Library
Python Standard Library (Nutshell Handbooks) with
ISBN: 0596000960
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2000
Pages: 252
Authors: Fredrik Lundh
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