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Tip: Why XML Parsers Often Are Not Very Useful

See why native XML parsing only works with the most simple XML documents.


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int start = xml.indexOf(??????)+ ??????.length();
int end = xml.indexOf(??????);
String name = xml.substring(start, end);

This native XML parsing only works with the most simple XML documents. It will most certainly fail if:

  • the text data is specified as a CDATA section
  • the document uses XML namespaces
  • the name element is not unique in the document
  • the content of name is not only character data
  • the text data of name contains escaped characters

XML is much too complex for string operations. You can use the snippet of code below, which is the equivalent of the code above with JDOM:

SAXBuilder builder = new SAXBuilder(false);
Document doc = builder.build(new StringReader(xml));
String name = doc.getRootElement().getChild(???name???).getText();

 

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Octavia Andreea Anghel is a senior PHP developer currently working as a primary trainer for programming teams that participate at national and international software-development contests. She consults on developing educational projects at a national level. She is a coauthor of the book "XML Technologies--XML in Java" (Albastra, ISBN 978-973-650-210-1), for which she wrote the XML portions. In addition to PHP and XML, she's interested in software architecture, web services, UML, and high-performance unit tests.
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