Skip to main content

XML as plain object module

Project description


XML as plain object utility module

Build Status


This module is a set of utility functions for parsing XML input into plain list/dict/string types.

These plain XML objects in turn can be emitted through YAML for instance as bare YAML without python objects.

The motivating usage is to dump XML to YAML, manually edit files as YAML, and emit XML output back.

The original XML file is supposed to be preserved except for comments and (if requested) spaces between non-leaf elements.

Note that there are alternative modules with nearly the same functionality, but none of them both provide simple plain objects and preserve the initial XML content even for non structured XML.

WARNING: the implementation does not support XML namespaces and entity location. If this is found useful, please add an issue.


In order to convert a XML file to a YAML representation, for instance given the tests/example-1.xml file:

  <doc>This is an example for xmlobj documentation. </doc>
  <content version="beta">
      <item>Elt 1</item>
      <doc>Elt 2</doc>
      <item>Elt 3</item>
      <doc>Elt 4</doc>

Execute the following python3 code:

import xmlplain

# Read to plain object
with open("tests/example-1.xml") as inf:
  root = xmlplain.xml_to_obj(inf, strip_space=True, fold_dict=True)

# Output plain YAML
with open("example-1.yml", "w") as outf:
  xmlplain.obj_to_yaml(root, outf)

This will output the YAML representation in example-1.yml:

  doc: 'This is an example for xmlobj documentation. '
    '@version': beta
    kind: document
    class: example
    structured: ''
    - item: Elt 1
    - doc: Elt 2
    - item: Elt 3
    - doc: Elt 4

One can then read the emitted YAML representation and generate again an XML output with:

import xmlplain

# Read the YAML file
with open("example-1.yml") as inf:
  root = xmlplain.obj_from_yaml(inf)

# Output back XML
with open("", "w") as outf:
  xmlplain.xml_from_obj(root, outf, pretty=True)

This will output back the following XML (there may be some indentation and/or short empty elements differences w.r.t. the original):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <doc>This is an example for xmlobj documentation. </doc>
  <content version="beta">
      <item>Elt 1</item>
      <doc>Elt 2</doc>
      <item>Elt 3</item>
      <doc>Elt 4</doc>

For a detailled usage, read the API documentation with:

pydoc xmlplain

Or get to the online documentation at:


Download this module archives from the releases at:

Or get the git repository at:


The module is compatible with python 2.6/2.7 and python 3.x.

It depends upon the folowing modules:

sudo pip install --user setuptools PyYAML

On deb systems one may install these modules with:

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools python-yaml


Either copy the file somewhere or install it with

For a user local installation (installs to $HOME/.local) do:

./ install --user

For a system level installation do:

./ build
sudo ./ install

Unitary tests

This module is delivered as part of a source tree with tests, in order to run tests, do for instance:

make -j16 check


The documentation is generated with sphinx as is:

make doc

Install sphinx with:

pip install sphinx

Or on deb systems:

sudo apt-get install python-sphinx

The online documentation is hosted at:


This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

xmlplain-1.4.0.tar.gz (86.6 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Built Distributions

xmlplain-1.4.0-py3-none-any.whl (10.9 kB view hashes)

Uploaded py3

xmlplain-1.4.0-py2-none-any.whl (10.9 kB view hashes)

Uploaded py2

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing Datadog Datadog Monitoring Facebook / Instagram Facebook / Instagram PSF Sponsor Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Huawei Huawei PSF Sponsor Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor NVIDIA NVIDIA PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Salesforce Salesforce PSF Sponsor Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page