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A Quick Overview of the XML DOM Extension in PHP 5

To be frank, how many times in your life as a PHP developer have you had to deal with XML documents? Probably dozens of times, particularly if you use it to develop PHP applications that implement some kind of web service, or possibly when creating RSS feeds and template files for different web sites. And, surely, the list goes on and on.

  1. A Quick Overview of the XML DOM Extension in PHP 5
  2. Building XML documents from scratch
  3. Adding multiple nodes to an XML document
  4. Adding nodes to a simple XML document by using array elements
By: Alejandro Gervasio
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 11
February 26, 2008

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But wait a minute! Of course, I’m not saying that XML is the evil player of this game, because you’d be completely misunderstanding my point. XML is great for different reasons, which are definitely out of the scope of this article. But when you need to build large XML documents from scratch or even parse them in some way, you can be faced with a quite challenging and time-consuming process that might cause hair loss!

However, as you know, PHP 5 comes equipped with a number of extensions that will make your life much easier when it comes to building and parsing things like XML data. For example, there’s the “SimpleXML” library, which permits you to perform some useful tasks, such as reading XML data from files and strings, iterating over XML documents, parsing individual nodes, and so forth.

PHP 5 has yet another extension that can be really helpful for handling XML data in all sorts of clever ways. In this case, I’m talking about the one called “XML DOM.” If you’ve already worked with it during the development of your PHP 5 applications, then you should be well aware of its strong capabilities when it comes to dealing with XML data.

Of course, there’s the possibility that aside from being a PHP programmer, you’re also a professional diver, who spends most of your time exploring the beauty of the oceans and, in consequence, you've never heard about this PHP extension. In that case, let me tell you a couple of interesting things that you can do with it.

Simply put, the DOM XML extension, as its name suggests, will permit you to work on XML documents by way of the DOM API. In this way, it allows you to read from and write to XML files, build XML data from scratch and parse specific nodes, extract them as an array, and even process HTML markup in different ways by using a handful of intuitive methods that closely resemble the ones used with JavaScript.

As you can see, this PHP extension offers a bunch of powerful features that can be useful for working with XML data. Therefore, provided that you’re interested in learning how to get started using it within your own PHP applications, in this article series I’ll be discussing some of its most relevant methods and properties and accompanying all of these explanations with concise and instructive hands-on examples.

Does this sound good to you? Let’s get started right now!

>>> More PHP Articles          >>> More By Alejandro Gervasio

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