PHP & XML Parsers

What does XML mean?

The markup language XML looks a lot like the markup language HTML. A plain-text XML document has tags that are separated by and >. XML and HTML are very different in two important ways.

  • XML doesn’t tell you which tags you have to use.
  • XML is very picky about how documents are set up.

You have a lot more freedom with XML than with HTML. HTML has a set of tags, such as <a></a> for a link, <p> for a new paragraph, and so on. But you can use any tags you want in an XML file. Tag the rating of a movie with <rating></rating> and the height of a person with <height></height>. So, XML allows you to make your own tags.

When it comes to how a document is put together, XML is very strict. HTML gives you a lot of freedom with how you start and end tags. XML, on the other hand, is not like this.

XML is a way to structure data so that it can be shared between websites. XML is the language that is used to write things like RSS Feeds and Podcasts. It’s easy to make XML. It looks a lot like HTML, but you make up the tags yourself.

Visit our XML tutorial if you want to learn more about XML.

What does “XML Parser” mean?

SAX parse is used to read and understand XML parse . All of the above parsers are slower than this one. It will make the XML file and figure out what it means. ISO-8859-1, US-ASCII, and UTF-8 character encoding are used by the XML parser.

You will need an XML parser to read, change, create, and work with an XML document.

There are two main kinds of XML parsers in PHP:

  1. Parsers that use trees
  2. Parsers based on events

Tree-Based Parsers

Tree-based parsers keep the whole document in memory and turn the XML document into a Tree structure. It looks at the whole document and lets you look at the Tree elements (DOM).

This type of parser is better for smaller XML documents, but it’s not a good choice for large XML documents because it slows them down a lot.

Tree-based parsers include:

  • Simple

Event-Based Parsers

Event-based parsers don’t keep the whole document in memory. Instead, they read in one node at a time and let you interact with it in real time. The old node is thrown away when you move on to the next one.

Large XML documents work well with this type of parser. It reads more quickly and uses less memory.

Event-based parsers include:

  • XMLReader
  • XML Expat Parser
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