Even if you aren’t a C# programmer, you can get up to speed on processing XML with C# in short order with this hack.
C# is an object-oriented programming language that comes as part of Microsoft’s .NET framework (http://www.microsoft.com/net/), which was introduced in 2000. C# has taken a lot of lessons from C, C++, and Java, but I won’t get into a comparison of these languages here. (For a good discussion of this, see Dare Obasanjo’s “A Comparison of Microsoft’s C# Programming Language to Sun Microsystems’ Java Programming Language” at http://www.25hoursaday.com/CsharpVsJava.html.) Like any programming language, C# has it proponents and opponents. While I still use Java the most, when XML is concerned, I fall into the camp of C# proponents.
My objective here is to introduce some of C#’s programming facilities for XML, which are legion. C# offers oodles of APIs for you to scratch just about any XML itch you can find. This hack will exercise several programs that use a few of these APIs, enough to get you started writing your own C# programs for processing XML.
C# is compiled into an intermediate code, so you need to have .NET or Mono on your system to even get a compiled C# program to work. You can get C# in several ways. If you are working on Windows, you can download .NET from Microsoft’s MSDN site (http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/technologyinfo/howtoget/) or through http://www.gotdotnet.com; or, if you are on Windows or Linux (Red Hat, Debian, ...