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From: Shawn Halpenny (paxunix_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-11-01 20:47:56

On 11/1/05, Suman Cherukuri <suman_at_[hidden]> wrote:

> Xerces has good C++ support. I'm not sure if this discussion is about
> extending 'C' based XML parsers like libxml2 and Expat to provide C++
> interface or to have a whole new XML parser within Boost. If it is later,
> Why?

I agree with Doug Gregor, that something like parsing can be offloaded
onto another library like Xerces/libxml2/etc, so I think the value of
discussion is in the manipulation and navigation within an XML
document. That's where modern C++ techniques could really be applied
to great effect.

My 2 cents worth regarding the XML libs I've used:

Xerces has a bunch of C++ classes ensconced in namespaces, but it
feels like a C API dressed up in C++. There is zero in the way of
common C++ abstractions for manipulating or accessing a document. It
just felt laborious to use--I couldn't escape the thought of "if
you're going to write it in C++, how about actually using C++?"

With libxml2 I didn't have the "C++ expectations" because it's an
all-C API. I still found myself doing the same lower-level node
memory-management stuff I had to deal with in Xerces, but I wrote a
few brain-dead simple wrapper classes for just the functionality I
needed and everything felt so much easier.

I suppose the difference is that I expected a whole suite of
well-designed wrapper classes along with Xerces and felt let down that
they didn't exist. (Plus, I needed RelaxNG schema and XPath support,
neither of which Xerces had).

Shawn Halpenny

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