O'Reilly logo

Python & XML by Christopher A. Jones, Fred L. Drake

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Searching File Information

In this section, we create a file indexing script that can generate an XML document representing your entire filesystem or a specific portion of it. Indexing files with XML is a powerful way to keep track of information, or perform bulk operations on groups of particular files on a disk. You can create an XML-generating indexing routine easily in Python. The index.py program in Example 3-4 (which shows up a little later in the chapter) starts in any directory you specify and generates an element for each file or directory that exists beneath the starting point. Once we have the index of file information, we look at how to use SAX to search the information to filter the list of files for whatever criteria interests us at the time.

Creating the Index Generator

The main part of this routine works by just checking each file in a starting directory, and then recursing into any directories it finds beneath the starting directory. Recursion allows it to index an entire filesystem if you choose. On Unix, the program performs a lot of work, as it does content checking via a popen call to the file command for each file. (While this could be made more efficient by calling find less often and requiring it to operate on more than one file at a time, that isn’t the topic of this book.) One of the key methods of this class is indexDirectoryFiles:

def indexDirectoryFiles(self, dir): """Index a directory structure and creates an XML output file.""" # prepare output XML ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required