xml.dom.minidom — Minimal DOM implementation¶
Source code: Lib/xml/dom/minidom.py
xml.dom.minidom is a minimal implementation of the Document Object
Model interface, with an API similar to that in other languages. It is intended
to be simpler than the full DOM and also significantly smaller. Users who are
not already proficient with the DOM should consider using the
xml.etree.ElementTree module for their XML processing instead.
DOM applications typically start by parsing some XML into a DOM. With
xml.dom.minidom, this is done through the parse functions:
from xml.dom.minidom import parse, parseString dom1 = parse('c:\\temp\\mydata.xml') # parse an XML file by name datasource = open('c:\\temp\\mydata.xml') dom2 = parse(datasource) # parse an open file dom3 = parseString('<myxml>Some data<empty/> some more data</myxml>')
parse() function can take either a filename or an open file object.
parse(filename_or_file, parser=None, bufsize=None)¶
Documentfrom the given input. filename_or_file may be either a file name, or a file-like object. parser, if given, must be a SAX2 parser object. This function will change the document handler of the parser and activate namespace support; other parser configuration (like setting an entity resolver) must have been done in advance.
If you have XML in a string, you can use the
Both functions return a
Document object representing the content of the
parseString() functions do is connect an XML
parser with a “DOM builder” that can accept parse events from any SAX parser and
convert them into a DOM tree. The name of the functions are perhaps misleading,
but are easy to grasp when learning the interfaces. The parsing of the document
will be completed before these functions return; it’s simply that these
functions do not provide a parser implementation themselves.
You can also create a
Document by calling a method on a “DOM
Implementation” object. You can get this object either by calling the
getDOMImplementation() function in the
xml.dom package or the
xml.dom.minidom module. Once you have a
can add child nodes to it to populate the DOM:
from xml.dom.minidom import getDOMImplementation impl = getDOMImplementation() newdoc = impl.createDocument(None, "some_tag", None) top_element = newdoc.documentElement text = newdoc.createTextNode('Some textual content.') top_element.appendChild(text)
Once you have a DOM document object, you can access the parts of your XML
document through its properties and methods. These properties are defined in
the DOM specification. The main property of the document object is the
documentElement property. It gives you the main element in the XML
document: the one that holds all others. Here is an example program:
dom3 = parseString("<myxml>Some data</myxml>") assert dom3.documentElement.tagName == "myxml"
When you are finished with a DOM tree, you may optionally call the
unlink() method to encourage early cleanup of the now-unneeded
unlink() is an
extension to the DOM API that renders the node and its descendants are
essentially useless. Otherwise, Python’s garbage collector will
eventually take care of the objects in the tree.
20.7.1. DOM Objects¶
Break internal references within the DOM so that it will be garbage collected on versions of Python without cyclic GC. Even when cyclic GC is available, using this can make large amounts of memory available sooner, so calling this on DOM objects as soon as they are no longer needed is good practice. This only needs to be called on the
Documentobject, but may be called on child nodes to discard children of that node.
with xml.dom.minidom.parse(datasource) as dom: ... # Work with dom.
writexml(writer, indent="", addindent="", newl="")¶
Write XML to the writer object. The writer should have a
write()method which matches that of the file object interface. The indent parameter is the indentation of the current node. The addindent parameter is the incremental indentation to use for subnodes of the current one. The newl parameter specifies the string to use to terminate newlines.
Documentnode, an additional keyword argument encoding can be used to specify the encoding field of the XML header.
Return a string or byte string containing the XML represented by the DOM node.
With an explicit encoding  argument, the result is a byte string in the specified encoding. With no encoding argument, the result is a Unicode string, and the XML declaration in the resulting string does not specify an encoding. Encoding this string in an encoding other than UTF-8 is likely incorrect, since UTF-8 is the default encoding of XML.
toprettyxml(indent="", newl="", encoding="")¶
Return a pretty-printed version of the document. indent specifies the indentation string and defaults to a tabulator; newl specifies the string emitted at the end of each line and defaults to
The encoding argument behaves like the corresponding argument of
20.7.2. DOM Example¶
This example program is a fairly realistic example of a simple program. In this particular case, we do not take much advantage of the flexibility of the DOM.
import xml.dom.minidom document = """\ <slideshow> <title>Demo slideshow</title> <slide><title>Slide title</title> <point>This is a demo</point> <point>Of a program for processing slides</point> </slide> <slide><title>Another demo slide</title> <point>It is important</point> <point>To have more than</point> <point>one slide</point> </slide> </slideshow> """ dom = xml.dom.minidom.parseString(document) def getText(nodelist): rc =  for node in nodelist: if node.nodeType == node.TEXT_NODE: rc.append(node.data) return ''.join(rc) def handleSlideshow(slideshow): print("<html>") handleSlideshowTitle(slideshow.getElementsByTagName("title")) slides = slideshow.getElementsByTagName("slide") handleToc(slides) handleSlides(slides) print("</html>") def handleSlides(slides): for slide in slides: handleSlide(slide) def handleSlide(slide): handleSlideTitle(slide.getElementsByTagName("title")) handlePoints(slide.getElementsByTagName("point")) def handleSlideshowTitle(title): print("<title>%s</title>" % getText(title.childNodes)) def handleSlideTitle(title): print("<h2>%s</h2>" % getText(title.childNodes)) def handlePoints(points): print("<ul>") for point in points: handlePoint(point) print("</ul>") def handlePoint(point): print("<li>%s</li>" % getText(point.childNodes)) def handleToc(slides): for slide in slides: title = slide.getElementsByTagName("title") print("<p>%s</p>" % getText(title.childNodes)) handleSlideshow(dom)
20.7.3. minidom and the DOM standard¶
xml.dom.minidom module is essentially a DOM 1.0-compatible DOM with
some DOM 2 features (primarily namespace features).
Usage of the DOM interface in Python is straight-forward. The following mapping rules apply:
- Interfaces are accessed through instance objects. Applications should not
instantiate the classes themselves; they should use the creator functions
available on the
Documentobject. Derived interfaces support all operations (and attributes) from the base interfaces, plus any new operations.
- Operations are used as methods. Since the DOM uses only
inparameters, the arguments are passed in normal order (from left to right). There are no optional arguments.
- IDL attributes map to instance attributes. For compatibility with the OMG IDL
language mapping for Python, an attribute
foocan also be accessed through accessor methods
readonlyattributes must not be changed; this is not enforced at runtime.
- The types
unsigned long long, and
booleanall map to Python integer objects.
- The type
DOMStringmaps to Python strings.
xml.dom.minidomsupports either bytes or strings, but will normally produce strings. Values of type
DOMStringmay also be
Nonewhere allowed to have the IDL
nullvalue by the DOM specification from the W3C.
constdeclarations map to variables in their respective scope (e.g.
xml.dom.minidom.Node.PROCESSING_INSTRUCTION_NODE); they must not be changed.
DOMExceptionis currently not supported in
xml.dom.minidomuses standard Python exceptions such as
NodeListobjects are implemented using Python’s built-in list type. These objects provide the interface defined in the DOM specification, but with earlier versions of Python they do not support the official API. They are, however, much more “Pythonic” than the interface defined in the W3C recommendations.
The following interfaces have no implementation in
Most of these reflect information in the XML document that is not of general utility to most DOM users.
|||The encoding name included in the XML output should conform to the appropriate standards. For example, “UTF-8” is valid, but “UTF8” is not valid in an XML document’s declaration, even though Python accepts it as an encoding name. See https://www.w3.org/TR/2006/REC-xml11-20060816/#NT-EncodingDecl and https://www.iana.org/assignments/character-sets/character-sets.xhtml.|