Parsing XML with DOM APIs in Python

The Document Object Model ("DOM") is a cross-language API from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for accessing and modifying XML documents.

The DOM is extremely useful for random-access applications. SAX only allows you a view of one bit of the document at a time. If you are looking at one SAX element, you have no access to another.

Here is the easiest way to quickly load an XML document and to create a minidom object using the xml.dom module. The minidom object provides a simple parser method that quickly creates a DOM tree from the XML file.

The sample phrase calls the parse( file [,parser] ) function of the minidom object to parse the XML file designated by file into a DOM tree object.

from xml.dom.minidom import parse
import xml.dom.minidom
# Open XML document using minidom parser
DOMTree = xml.dom.minidom.parse("movies.xml")
collection = DOMTree.documentElement
if collection.hasAttribute("shelf"):
   print "Root element : %s" % collection.getAttribute("shelf")
# Get all the movies in the collection
movies = collection.getElementsByTagName("movie")
# Print detail of each movie.
for movie in movies:
print "*****Movie*****"
   if movie.hasAttribute("title"):
      print "Title: %s" % movie.getAttribute("title")
   type = movie.getElementsByTagName('type')[0]
   print "Type: %s" % type.childNodes[0].data
   format = movie.getElementsByTagName('format')[0]
   print "Format: %s" % format.childNodes[0].data
   rating = movie.getElementsByTagName('rating')[0]
   print "Rating: %s" % rating.childNodes[0].data
   description = movie.getElementsByTagName('description')[0]
   print "Description: %s" % description.childNodes[0].data

This would produce the following result −

Root element : New Arrivals
Title: Enemy Behind
Type: War, Thriller
Format: DVD
Rating: PG
Description: Talk about a US-Japan war
Title: Transformers
Type: Anime, Science Fiction
Format: DVD
Rating: R
Description: A schientific fiction
Title: Trigun
Type: Anime, Action
Format: DVD
Rating: PG
Description: Vash the Stampede!
Title: Ishtar
Type: Comedy
Format: VHS
Rating: PG
Description: Viewable boredom

For a complete detail on DOM API documentation, please refer to standard Python APIs.

Updated on: 31-Jan-2020

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