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C++ Cookbook by Jeff Cogswell, Jonathan Turkanis, Christopher Diggins, D. Ryan Stephens

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14.1. Parsing a Simple XML Document

Problem

You have a collection of data stored in an XML document. You want to parse the document and turn the data it contains into a collection of C++ objects. Your XML document is small enough to fit into memory and doesn’t use an internal Document Type Definition (DTD) or XML Namespaces.

Solution

Use the TinyXml library. First, define an object of type TiXmlDocument and call its LoadFile() method, passing the pathname of your XML document as its argument. If LoadFile() returns true, your document has been successfully parsed. If parsing was successful, call the RootElement() method to obtain a pointer to an object of type TiXmlElement representing the document root. This object has a hierarchical structure that reflects the structure of your XML document; by traversing this structure, you can extract information about the document and use this information to create a collection of C++ objects.

For example, suppose you have an XML document animals.xml representing a collection of circus animals, as shown in Example 14-1. The document root is named animalList and has a number of child animal elements each representing an animal owned by the Feldman Family Circus. Suppose you also have a C++ class named Animal, and you want to construct a std::vector of Animals corresponding to the animals listed in the document.

Example 14-1. An XML document representing a list of circus animals

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!-- Feldman Family Circus ...

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