case
28Sep/100

Parse XML in JavaScript with jQuery

Yes, you can do it with XMLDOM and all the other ways out there, but why not use the power of jQuery ?
Like so:

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   <root>
      <items>
          <item name="first" id="1">Content 1</item>
          <item name="second" id="2">Content 2</item>
      </items>
      <other atribute="true" />
    </root>
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   var xml = '<root ......';
   var obj = $(xml);
   // and now you can use jquery selectors to get what you want
   $("item[name=second]", obj).attr('id'); // 2

11May/100

Zen Coding

If you write HTML for a living, and you don't know Zen Coding yet, you are missing out big time.

Zen Coding is build as a plugin for commonly used editors (including Notepad++, yey!) that allows you to write HTML, CSS and XML code 20 time faster. So writing:

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html:xt>div#header>div#logo+ul#nav>li.item-$*5>a

with a keystroke converts to:

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< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
<head>
	<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8" />
	<title></title>
</head>
<body>
	<div id="header">
		<div id="logo"></div>
		<ul id="nav">
			<li class="item-1"><a href=""></a></li>
			<li class="item-2"><a href=""></a></li>
			<li class="item-3"><a href=""></a></li>
			<li class="item-4"><a href=""></a></li>
			<li class="item-5"><a href=""></a></li>
		</ul>
	</div>
</body>
</html>

Don't get this wrong, like the man said, "The purpose of ZC is not to write a full HTML page with a single line, but to help you write smaller code chunks.". Here is a video introducing the system in further detail.

It is easier than it looks actually, and looking a bit over the syntax will make total sense. Printing the cheat sheet also helps 🙂

Also worth noticing that in Notepad++ (the only one I tried) the plugin added few more functions that help with the coding that I'm sure you'll enjoy (Jumping to the edit points is a God given). This project inspired another neat tool for PHP developers to output HTML using this syntax from code. You can find more here

I have only touched briefly on what it can do but I will certainly not author another single HTML document without the benefit of Zen Coding.

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24Sep/094

The simplest way to parse XML in Java

You can do a lot with XML, but often all you want to do is to read a simple file with some basic data in it. The options for doing this, SAX, DOM and JAXB are all relatively verbose and often off-putting. So here is a class that will make all this much much more simple.

Parsing a file such as:

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<config>
	<title>test</title>
	<version major="1" minor="2"/>
	<roles>
		<role name="admin"/>
		<role name="user"/>
	</roles>
	<users>
		<user name="joe" password="pass" role="admin"/>
		<user name="harry" password="secret" role="user"/>
	</users>
</config>

Can be achieved with the following code:

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Xml config = new Xml("config.xml","config");
 
System.out.println("title: "+config.child("title").content());
 
Xml version = config.child("version");
System.out.println("version: "+version.integer("major")+"."+version.integer("minor"));
 
for(Xml role:config.child("roles").children("role"))
	System.out.println("role: name: "+role.string("name"));
 
for(Xml user:config.child("users").children("user"))
{
	System.out.println(
		"user: name: "+user.string("name")+
		", password: "+user.string("password")+
		", role: "+user.string("role"));
}

As you can see, it's nice and simple and allows you to get to the information quickly and without any hassle. The API uses the DOM parser underneath, but attempts to make the data more easily available. All you need is the following [Click to download] class, which you can of course customise however you like.

Update:
I've just added another nice method to this class. Is called e4xEval, that is actualy a xpath eval but i made it use the flex e4x syntax. So, if you want to get all the role name you can do:

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Xml config = new Xml("config.xml","config");
String[] list = config.e4xEval("config.roles.role.@name");  // @ is attribute

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