Parsing XML with SAX APIs in Python

PythonServer Side ProgrammingProgramming

SAX is a standard interface for event-driven XML parsing. Parsing XML with SAX generally requires you to create your own ContentHandler by subclassing xml.sax.ContentHandler.

Your ContentHandler handles the particular tags and attributes of your flavor(s) of XML. A ContentHandler object provides methods to handle various parsing events. Its owning parser calls ContentHandler methods as it parses the XML file.

The methods startDocument and endDocument are called at the start and the end of the XML file. The method characters(text) is passed character data of the XML file via the parameter text.

The ContentHandler is called at the start and end of each element. If the parser is not in namespace mode, the methods startElement(tag, attributes) and endElement(tag) are called; otherwise, the corresponding methods startElementNS and endElementNS are called. Here, tag is the element tag, and attributes is an Attributes object.

Here are other important methods to understand before proceeding −

The make_parser Method

Following method creates a new parser object and returns it. The parser object created will be of the first parser type the system finds.

xml.sax.make_parser( [parser_list] )

Here is the detail of the parameters −

  • parser_list − The optional argument consisting of a list of parsers to use which must all implement the make_parser method.

The parse Method

Following method creates a SAX parser and uses it to parse a document.

xml.sax.parse( xmlfile, contenthandler[, errorhandler])

Here is the detail of the parameters −

  • xmlfile − This is the name of the XML file to read from.
  • contenthandler − This must be a ContentHandler object.
  • errorhandler − If specified, errorhandler must be a SAX ErrorHandler object.

The parseString Method

There is one more method to create a SAX parser and to parse the specified XML string.

xml.sax.parseString(xmlstring, contenthandler[, errorhandler])

Here is the detail of the parameters −

  • xmlstring − This is the name of the XML string to read from.
  • contenthandler − This must be a ContentHandler object.
  • errorhandler − If specified, errorhandler must be a SAX ErrorHandler object.

Example

#!/usr/bin/python
import xml.sax
class MovieHandler( xml.sax.ContentHandler ):
   def __init__(self):
      self.CurrentData = ""
      self.type = ""
      self.format = ""
      self.year = ""
      self.rating = ""
      self.stars = ""
      self.description = ""
# Call when an element starts
def startElement(self, tag, attributes):
   self.CurrentData = tag
      if tag == "movie":
         print "*****Movie*****"
         title = attributes["title"]
         print "Title:", title

# Call when an elements ends
def endElement(self, tag):
if self.CurrentData == "type":
print "Type:", self.type
   elif self.CurrentData == "format":
print "Format:", self.format
   elif self.CurrentData == "year":
print "Year:", self.year
   elif self.CurrentData == "rating":
   print "Rating:", self.rating
elif self.CurrentData == "stars":
   print "Stars:", self.stars
elif self.CurrentData == "description":
   print "Description:", self.description
self.CurrentData = ""

   # Call when a character is read
   def characters(self, content):
      if self.CurrentData == "type":
         self.type = content
      elif self.CurrentData == "format":
         self.format = content
         elif self.CurrentData == "year":
         self.year = content
         elif self.CurrentData == "rating":
         self.rating = content
      elif self.CurrentData == "stars":
         self.stars = content
      elif self.CurrentData == "description":
         self.description = content
   
if ( __name__ == "__main__"):

   # create an XMLReader
   parser = xml.sax.make_parser()
   # turn off namepsaces
   parser.setFeature(xml.sax.handler.feature_namespaces, 0)
   # override the default ContextHandler
Handler = MovieHandler()
parser.setContentHandler( Handler )
parser.parse("movies.xml")

This would produce following result −

*****Movie*****
Title: Enemy Behind
Type: War, Thriller
Format: DVD
Year: 2003
Rating: PG
Stars: 10
Description: Talk about a US-Japan war
*****Movie*****
Title: Transformers
Type: Anime, Science Fiction
Format: DVD
Year: 1989
Rating: R
Stars: 8
Description: A schientific fiction
*****Movie*****
Title: Trigun
Type: Anime, Action
Format: DVD
Rating: PG
Stars: 10
Description: Vash the Stampede!
*****Movie*****
Title: Ishtar
Type: Comedy
Format: VHS
Rating: PG
Stars: 2
Description: Viewable boredom

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

raja
Published on 31-Jan-2020 10:30:33
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