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xmlsjon converts XML into Python dictionary structures (trees, like in JSON) and vice-versa.

Project description

xmlsjon converts XML into Python dictionary structures (trees, like in JSON) and vice-versa.


XML can be converted to a data structure (such as JSON) and back. For example:

        <name value="Alice"/>
        <name value="Bob"/>

can be converted into this data structure (which also a valid JSON object):

{ "employees": [
    { "person": {
        "name": {"@value": "Alice"}
    } },
    { "person": {
        "name": {"@value": "Alice"}
    } }
] }

This uses the BadgerFish convention that prefixes attributes with @. The conventions supported by this library are:

  • BadgerFish: Use "$" for text content, @ to prefix attributes,

  • GData: Use "$t" for text content, attributes added as-is

  • Parker: Use tail nodes for text content, ignore attributes

Convert data to XML

To convert from a data structure to XML using the BadgerFish convention:

>>> from xmljson import badgerfish as bf
>>> bf.etree({'p': {'@id': 'main', '$': 'Hello', 'b': 'bold'}})

This returns an array of etree.Element structures. In this case, the result is identical to:

>>> from xml.etree.ElementTree import fromstring
>>> [fromstring('<p id="main">Hello<b>bold</b></p>')]

The result can be inserted into any existing root etree.Element:

>>> from xml.etree.ElementTree import Element, tostring
>>> root = Element('root')
>>> result = bf.etree({'p': {'@id': 'main'}}, root=root)
>>> tostring(result)
'<root><p id="main"/></root>'

This includes lxml.html as well:

>>> from lxml.html import Element, tostring
>>> root = Element('html')
>>> result = bf.etree({'p': {'@id': 'main'}}, root=root)
>>> tostring(result, doctype='<!DOCTYPE html>')
'<!DOCTYPE html>\n<html><p id="main"></p></html>'

For ease of use, strings are treated as node text. For example, both the following are the same:

>>> bf.etree({'p': {'$': 'paragraph text'}})
>>> bf.etree({'p': 'paragraph text'})

Convert XML to data

To convert from XML to a data structure using the BadgerFish convention:

>>>'<p id="main">Hello<b>bold</b></p>'))
{"p": {"$": "Hello", "@id": "main", "b": {"$": "bold"}}}

To convert this to JSON, use:

>>> from json import dumps
>>> dumps('<p id="main">Hello<b>bold</b></p>')))
'{"p": {"b": {"$": "bold"}, "@id": "main", "$": "Hello"}}'

To preserve the order of attributes and children, specify the dict_type as OrderedDict (or any other dictionary-like type) in the constructor:

>>> from collections import OrderedDict
>>> from xmljson import BadgerFish              # import the class
>>> bf = BadgerFish(dict_type=OrderedDict)      # pick dict class


To use a different conversion method, replace BadgerFish with one of the other classes. Currently, these are supported:

>>> from xmljson import badgerfish      # == xmljson.BadgerFish()
>>> from xmljson import gdata           # == xmljson.GData()
>>> from xmljson import parker          # == xmljson.Parker()


This is a pure-Python package built for Python 2.6+ and Python 3.0+. To set up:

pip install xmljson


  • Test cases for Unicode

  • Support for namespaces and namespace prefixes


0.1.4 (2015-09-20)

  • Fix GData.etree() conversion of attributes. (They were ignored. They should be added as-is.)

0.1.3 (2015-09-20)

  • Simplify {'p': {'$': 'text'}} to {'p': 'text'} in BadgerFish and GData conventions.

  • Add test cases for .etree() – mainly from the MDN JXON article.

  • dict_type/list_type do not need to inherit from dict/list

0.1.2 (2015-09-18)

  • Always use the dict_type class to create dictionaries (which defaults to OrderedDict to preserve order of keys)

  • Update documentation, test cases

  • Remove support for Python 2.6 (since we need collections.Counter)

  • Make the Travis CI build pass

0.1.1 (2015-09-18)

  • Convert true, false and numeric values from strings to Python types

  • is compliant with Parker convention (bugs resolved)

0.1.0 (2015-09-15)

  • Two-way conversions via BadgerFish, GData and Parker conventions.

  • First release on PyPI.

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