Working with XML in Python
The Extensive Markup Language and Python are two very different platforms. Python is a programming language and XML is a standards oriented language document. Python is a full fledged programming language which has its roots deep in scripts, and also has matured over a period of time. XML is still evolving as a tool, and is much smaller in scale when compared to Python. The application of the Python and XML combination comes into picture only when you have to work with XML on different platforms, or in a distributed environment.
Shell script and Perl is used to process the text in the XML document, and then Java API is used to process XML documents and programming in networks. The shell provides a facility to manipulate the files, and as a platform for interaction with Unix, Perl helps to manipulate the text, therefore providing access to the UNIX servers. But all these together were not efficient in manipulating XML text which was then overcome by Python.
Like any other scripting language available, Python has the ability to manipulate both text and files. Before the use of Python developers were largely dependent on a combination of programming languages to carry out various functions on a single file. But with the advent of Python the dependency has turned into efficiency because it can handle all the functions that various programming languages were doing on its own. Due to this, Python invariably became the best choice to be used along with XML.
Python along with its other qualities can also support object oriented files and has a robust environment. This environment can be extended to networks, graphic user interface, and web development and can be combined with components like C ++ by connecting them to libraries. Python is also easily transferable across networks and embedded systems, and it is portable with almost every platform on the network.
Python when compared to other programming languages like C or C++ allows you to develop at an increased speed. Python is also a much simpler language, and work along with XML. But If your requirements are speed sensitive then you can incorporate the elements of C or C++ into your program landscape.
Advantages of XML with Python
XML has its own advantages as a data language on the internet, and it is the number one choice for programmers. These advantages were built into XML right from the beginning and were meant to provide the programmers with an edge.
XML has a human interface where humans can read it, and it also has a machine interface where machines can understand it. So it also acts like an interpreter. Though this might look very simple, actually it is a phenomenal aspect.
For example a word document can only be read in word, and in no other interface. It is not flexible by itself. If you try to open a word document with a text editor, all it does is turn in binary characters which can be very annoying for a programmer.
XML is a very neutral application when compared to all these phenomenons. The XML document is always presented by a parser or a processor, but in case if a parser or a processor is not available, it still can be read and parsed. Such is its flexibility. Data within a XML document is not limited to any software application which is using it.
XML makes the data independent of any factors, and this also makes it easily accessible. The ability to read data easily is extremely importantly in case the whole system crashes, as then you need something which is independent like XML to be able to access data.
XML is hierarchical in structure and allows you to create hierarchies using tags, and it creates a structure in the shape of a tree. It is quite different from HTML because you can create this with different kinds of elements in XML. This feature makes the Extensive Markup Language appropriate for data which is in serial form. It is very easy to create a mapping from elements to data objects.
A Neutral Platform
XML creates a neutral platform because of its cross platform functions. The text codes that are used in XML are so varied that it avoids all confusion in cross platforms when it comes to arranging a XML document. The design of XML is to facilitate its usage on the Internet with HTTP and SSL, and various other protocols including the futuristic ones which are being built.
Abilities of Python
Python’s data structures are very complex and are a part of the core libraries and language. The more later versions of Python support Unicode and a huge range of coding. Python provides a standard library to work with XML, which has implementations related to the DOM and Sax interfaces which can be used to work with XML data, which also provides additional support for parsing and processing.
The other programming languages such as Java are also equally efficient, but what stands out about Python is that it can perform many functions of various programming languages by itself. Python is a jack of all trades when it comes to the inner usability along with XML. There are several features that make Python the top choice along with XML.
Pythons source code is not only easy, but it can be maintained easily as well, and the interpreter is very interactive, and code fragments can be tried out very easily. While being easily transferable and portable, Python does not restrict any capabilities which are platform specific. At the same time the object oriented functions prove to be very powerful.
If every functionality of Python is taken individually and examined, you may feel that there are many languages that are capable of doing this, and if this is the case, why use Python? All these functions are carried out peripherally by Python. Python is not dependent on these programs to prove its capability, but these features only make Python an easy language to use.
In this way more time can be allotted to the actual programming functionalities rather than getting the initial hitches out of the way.
Python’s Easy Readability and Maintenance
Python is very easy to read and maintain because it is very clear in its expression. Python’s uses a significant amount of whitespace which makes the Python source code easy to read. However, the structure of the source code is not simple but because of its readability, it makes it easy for the programmers.
Python’s use of ample white space in its code gives a clarity to the syntax through which simple mistakes can be avoided, as mistakes cause syntax errors.
User Friendly Interpreter
Python’s interpreters are known for its portability to the extent that it can even be carried on a PDA, multiprocessor platforms or embedded systems. It is the only interpreter which can run on any operating system, and that has no limitations. Python also provides a facility to run individual statements separately.
Python has an immense capacity in terms of portability. It can be carried in a small device and deployed in large networks. It does not restrict itself to networks or let the network environment to limit it. Python cannot provide access to libraries but it gives a facility where extensions can be added easily.
Object orientation is known to solve all the technical problems that a program might encounter while writing code. Unlike other programs with OOP or object oriented programming, which can be a tedious process, Python is a program which supports object orientation in a way that it makes it toil free for any user. Python creates reusable objects that are recognized easily by many other interfaces.
Python offers many tools apart from its features like the Python standard library, PyXML and a program called 4suite.
The Python XML, known as Pyxml has a set of features which are standard and basic, but also very useful at the same time. It also includes the amours ExPat XML parser. These parsers support the SAX interface and the DOM implementation.
PyXML at the same time has a lot of features within itself like extending the parser for SAX and DOM, support for XPATH and XSLT, and a lot more other helpful modules. In addition to this, Pyxml 4suite is also used with offers tailored, and is made to fit DOM applications which make it easy for a programmer. These applications might just be apt, and can be readily used rather than wasting time designing these programs.
The SAX and DOM have some very powerful tools that can be used while working with XML and Python, but they need intensive programming. Luckily with Python around a lot of those programming difficulties can be overcome due to the ease of its use. On the whole there is a lot of programming done for the World Wide Web services using the Extensive markup language and Common gateway Interface. Learning how to effectively use these combinations and introduce them as an effective tool can be effortless when using tools which work best in a combination like Python and XML.
XML Tools for Python – Online Resources
4Suite XML Tools : A collection of Python tools for XML processing and object database management: they handle XML parsing, XPath expressions, XPointer, XSLT transformations.
logilab-xmltool : Python XmlTools is a set of high level tools to help using XML in python. It relies heavily on PyXml and 4Suite to access XML resources.
Pyxie : Pyxie is a line-oriented XML processor.
xml.sax : Python versions from 2.0 up bundle a SAX module.