Quick-Start Example / FAQ

Make sure to install and load cxml first.

On this page

To try the following examples, create a test file called example.xml:

* (with-open-file (s "example.xml" :direction :output)
    (write-string "<test a='b'><child/></test>" s))

Parsing a file

Parse example.xml into a DOM tree (read more):

* (cxml:parse-file "example.xml" (cxml-dom:make-dom-builder))
#<DOM-IMPL::DOCUMENT @ #x72206172>

;; save result for later:
* (defparameter *example* *)

Using DOM

Inspect the DOM tree (read more):

* (dom:document-element *example*)
#<DOM-IMPL::ELEMENT test @ #x722b6ba2>

* (dom:tag-name (dom:document-element *example*))

* (dom:child-nodes (dom:document-element *example*))
#(#<DOM-IMPL::ELEMENT child @ #x722b6d8a>)

* (dom:get-attribute (dom:document-element *example*) "a")

Serializing DOM

Serialize the DOM document back into a file (read more):

(with-open-file (out "example.out" :direction :output :element-type '(unsigned-byte 8))
  (dom:map-document (cxml:make-octet-stream-sink out) *example*)

Parsing into XMLS-like lists

If DOM is not the representation you want to you, parsing into other data structures is possible using the same SAX parser function, while using a different handler. The XMLS builder is included for compatibility with XMLS, and also also sample code (see cxml/xml/xmls-compat.lisp) for your own handlers.

As an alternative to DOM, parse into xmls-compatible list structure (read more):

* (cxml:parse-file "example.xml" (cxml-xmls:make-xmls-builder))
("test" (("a" "b")) ("child" NIL))

Again, serialization into XML is done using a sink as a SAX handler and a data-structure specific function to generate SAX events for the document, in this case cxml-xmls:map-node.

* (with-open-file (out "example.out" :direction :output :element-type '(unsigned-byte 8))
    (cxml-xmls:map-node (cxml:make-octet-stream-sink out)
                        '("test" (("a" "b")) ("child" nil))))

Parsing incrementally using Klacks

Use klacks to read events from the parser incrementally. The following example looks only for :start-element and :end-element events and prints them (read more):

* (klacks:with-open-source
    (s (cxml:make-source #p"example.xml"))
      for key = (klacks:peek s)
      while key
	(case key
	    (format t "~A {" (klacks:current-qname s)))
	    (format t "}")))
	(klacks:consume s)))
test {child {}}

Writing XML

Serialization is always done using sinks, which accept SAX events, but there are convenience functions and macros to make that easier to use:

(cxml:with-xml-output (cxml:make-octet-stream-sink stream :indentation 2 :canonical nil)
  (cxml:with-element "foo"
    (cxml:attribute "xyz" "abc")
    (cxml:with-element "bar"
      (cxml:attribute "blub" "bla"))
    (cxml:text "Hi there.")))

Prints this to stream:

<foo xyz="abc">
  <bar blub="bla"></bar>
  Hi there.

Help! CXML says 'URI scheme :HTTP not supported'

By default, this error will occur when the DTD (or generally, any entity) has an http:// URL as its system ID. CXML itself understands only file:// URLs, but allows users to customize the behaviour for all URLs.

The are several solutions to this, covered in detail below:

Here are the example files for the following solutions to this problem:

<!DOCTYPE test SYSTEM 'http://www.lichteblau.com/blubba/dtdexample.dtd'>
<test a='b'>blub<child/></test>
<!ELEMENT test (#PCDATA|child)*>
<!ATTLIST test


Loading DTDs from local files

Use the :entity-resolver argument to parse-file to specify a function that maps System IDs and Public IDs to local files of your choice:

(let ((uri "http://www.lichteblau.com/blubba/dtdexample.dtd")
      (pathname "dtdexample.dtd"))
  (flet ((resolver (pubid sysid)
	   (declare (ignore pubid))
	   (when (puri:uri= sysid (puri:parse-uri uri))
	     (open pathname :element-type '(unsigned-byte 8)))))
    (cxml:parse-file "dtdexample.xml" (cxml-dom:make-dom-builder) :entity-resolver #'resolver)))

Can I skip loading of DTDs entirely?

Yes and no.

Yes, you can force CXML to do this, see the following example.

But no, skipping the DTD will not actually work if the document references entities declared in the DTD, especially since neither SAX nor DOM are able to report unresolved entity references in attributes.

The trick to make CXML skip the DTD is to pretend that it is empty by returning a zero-length stream instead:

(flet ((resolver (pubid sysid)
	 (declare (ignore pubid sysid))
	 (flexi-streams:make-in-memory-input-stream nil)))
  (cxml:parse-file "dtdexample.xml" (cxml-dom:make-dom-builder) :entity-resolver #'resolver))

Catalogs: How can I use the HTML DTD installed by my distribution?

Rather than writing an entity resolver function yourself, CXML can use XML catalogs to find DTDs and entity files on your local system.

Catalogs are particularly helpful for DTDs that are pre-installed. For example, most Linux distributions include a package for the XHTML DTD. The DTD will reside in a distribution-dependent location, which the central catalog file points to.

By default, CXML looks for the catalog in /etc/xml/catalog (Linux) and /usr/local/share/xml/catalog.ports (FreeBSD).

* (setf cxml:*catalog* (cxml:make-catalog))
* (cxml:parse-file "test.xhtml" (cxml-dom:make-dom-builder))

Can I load DTDs through HTTP?

Sure, just use an entity-resolver function that does it.

Install Drakma and try this:

(flet ((resolver (pubid sysid)
	 (declare (ignore pubid))
	 (when (eq (puri:uri-scheme sysid) :http)
	   (drakma:http-request sysid :want-stream t))))
  (cxml:parse-file "dtdexample.xml" (cxml-dom:make-dom-builder) :entity-resolver #'resolver))