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Parsing the XML - PHP

In this third part of a five-part series on Web Services, we'll wrap up our discussion of MagpieRSS and move on to SimpleXML, an intuitive methodology for processing XML structures. This article is excerpted from chapter 20 of the book Beginning PHP and Oracle: From Novice to Professional, written by W. Jason Gilmore and Bob Bryla (Apress; ISBN: 1590597702).

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Web Services: SimpleXML
  2. SimpleXML
  3. Loading XML
  4. Parsing the XML
By: Apress Publishing
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August 05, 2010

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Once an XML document has been loaded into an object, several methods are at your disposal. Presently, four methods are available, each of which is introduced in this section.

Learning More About an Element

XML attributes provide additional information about an XML element. In the sample XML document in the previous Listing 20-4, only theauthornode possesses an attribute, namelygender, used to offer information about the authorís gender. You can use theattributes()method to retrieve these attributes. Its prototype follows:

object simplexml_element->attributes()

For example, suppose you want to retrieve the gender of each author:

<?php
   
$xml = simplexml_load_file("books.xml");
   
foreach($xml->book as $book) {
       
printf("%s is %s. <br />",$book->author, $book->author->attributes());
   
}
?>

This example returns the following:

--------------------------------------------
Jane Austen is female.
Alberto Moravia is male.
Ernest Hemingway is male.
--------------------------------------------

You can also directly reference a particular book authorís gender. For example, suppose you want to determine the gender of the author of the second book in the XML document:

echo $xml->book[2]->author->attributes();

This example returns the following:

--------------------------------------------
male
--------------------------------------------

Often a node possesses more than one attribute. For example, suppose theauthornode looks like this:

<author gender="female" age="20">Jane Austen</author>

Itís easy to output the attributes with aforloop:

foreach($xml->book[0]->author->attributes() AS $a => $b) {
    printf("%s = %s <br />", $a, $b);
}

This example returns the following:

--------------------------------------------
gender = female
age = 20
--------------------------------------------

Please check back next week for the continuation of this article.



 
 
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