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Conclusions... - XML

PHP offers two methods of parsing an XML document. You've already seen how SAX works; in this article, find out how to use PHP's DOM functions to traverse an XML tree, and also learn about important differences between the two approaches.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. Using PHP with XML (part 2)
  2. Meet Joe Cool
  3. Building A Library
  4. Anyone For Chicken?
  5. Conclusions...
  6. ...And Links
By: icarus, (c) Melonfire
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 3
June 20, 2001

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As you can see, you can parse a document using either DOM or SAX, and achieve the same result. The difference is that the DOM parser is a little slower, since it has to build a complete tree of the XML data, whereas the SAX parser is faster, since it's calling a function each time it encounters a specific tag type. You should experiment with both methods to see which one works better for you.

There's another important difference between the two techniques. The SAX approach is event-centric - as the parser travels through the document, it executes specific functions depending on what it finds. Additionally, the SAX approach is sequential - tags are parsed one after the other, in the sequence in which they appear. Both these features add to the speed of the parser; however, they also limit its flexibility in quickly accessing any node of the DOM tree.

As opposed to this, the DOM approach builds a complete tree of the document in memory, making it possible to easily move from one node to another (in a non-sequential manner.) Since the parser has the additional overhead of maintaining the tree structure in memory, speed is an issue here; however, navigation between the various "branches" of the tree is easier. Since the approach is not dependent on events, developers need to use the exposed methods and attributes of the various DOM objects to process the XML data.

 
 
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