XSL character replace

Discussion in 'XML' started by Dominic, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Dominic

    Dominic Guest

    Hi there,

    I'm dipping my toes into XSL and have used it a little in order to
    remove the XML header of some XML which an API kept choking on (not
    sure why TBH, seems an odd state of affairs that!). Now a different
    API is choking on " (double quote - (HTML: ")) but is fine with
    ' (single quote (HTML: ')) for enclosing attributes. I've been
    using a simple string replace to convert "s to 's (If you see what I
    mean?) but have to convert the XML to a string rather than keep it as
    XML. Is there an XSL way that'll do the same thing so that I can keep
    the XML as XML?

    Thanks in advance

    Dominic, Apr 28, 2010
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  2. Do you want to replace double quotes in character data (e.g. element or
    attribute content)? Or do you want to replace double quotes in markup
    (e.g. attribute value delimiters)?

    But all that sounds rather odd, are those APIs that are choking really
    APIs that are supposed to process XML?
    Martin Honnen, Apr 28, 2010
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  3. Dominic

    Dominic Guest

    I'm pretty sure that what I want is a way to convert the attribute
    value delimiters rather than character data. If I'm understanding the
    terminology correctly (always a possibility ;-))
    Believe it or not they are indeed! I had problems getting my head
    around the concept as well but there you go...
    To elaborate further:

    What I'm after is something that'll convert this:

    <something scheme="http://example.com" term="http://
    anotherexample.org" />


    <something scheme='http://example.com' term='http://
    anotherexample.org' />

    Cheers for your reply,

    Dominic, Apr 28, 2010
  4. But that is not something XSLT can do for you really, XSLT operates on a
    tree model with nodes of type element, attribute (and others). That tree
    model does not store the type of attribute value delimiters at all, and
    the serialization of such a tree back to markup does not allow you to
    define the attribute value delimiters either.

    In the .NET world (where I am mostly at home when it comes to dealing
    with XML programmatically) I would solve that with reading the XML in
    with an XmlReader and feeding it back to an XmlTextWriter which has a
    property that can be set.
    Martin Honnen, Apr 28, 2010
  5. Dominic

    Dominic Guest

    Cheers Martin,

    I'm using PHP and can't seem to see anything similar in that language
    which is why I was looking to XSL, if it's not possible though I'll
    use my existing inelegant solution ;-) - at least it works even if
    it's a bit of a cludge ;-)

    Cool blog by the way, how do you get your XML coloured and formatted
    so nicely? I usually do it by hand but it takes a fair old while.

    Thanks again,

    Dominic, Apr 28, 2010
  6. Dominic

    Peter Flynn Guest

    If the software can't handle this, it is not XML-conformant and must
    be replaced. You cannot rely on broken software to handle business

    Peter Flynn, Apr 28, 2010
  7. Dominic

    Mayeul Guest

    When you think of it, part of the point of XML is that this sort of
    brokenness can be easily dealt with.

    I'm more the type to heavily suggest upgrading to an XML-compliant
    toolchain and offering assistance in doing so ;
    /then/ if not accepted heavierly suggest against calling that XML within
    technical communication, calling it something else myself anyway, and
    offering to support this custom format for an additional fee. This
    additional fee will enable me to make or update my own serializer, which
    is easy to do and test.

    Sure it looks like taking in the money without caring for added value to
    the world. But it is also enabling your client to just do things
    regardless of their utter incompetence with a technology known as XML.
    Mayeul, Apr 28, 2010
  8. Hm. The right answer for what you've requested is an XML parser feeding
    an XML serializer which uses ' to delimit attribute values. It might be
    worth simply trying one of the parse-and-regenerate sample programs that
    come with most XML parsers to see whether they have the desired effect.
    I haven't seen one that exposes the selection of apostrophe versus quote
    delimiters as an option; if you can't find one that is biased in the
    direction you need, you may want to grab an open-source serializer and
    tweak it.

    (Trying to do this as string processing could mostly work, but will be
    fragile in the presence of <[CDATA[]]> sections, so I tend to prefer the
    parse-and-reserialize approach.)

    XSLT manipulates document content, not syntax, and again don't generally
    expose this as an option.

    A properly written XML application should never see, or care about, this
    distinction, so I'd make sure to hammer on whoever wrote the tool
    consuming these documents and get them to fix their code as a service to
    the community (and as a way of not losing customers), even if you have a
    workaround for your own needs.

    Joe Kesselman,

    {} ASCII Ribbon Campaign | "may'ron DaroQbe'chugh vaj bIrIQbej" --
    /\ Stamp out HTML mail! | "Put down the squeezebox & nobody gets hurt."
    Joe Kesselman, Apr 29, 2010
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