XML::LibXML::Iterator - XML::LibXML's Tree Iteration Class


version 1.06


    use XML::LibXML;
    use XML::LibXML::Iterator;

    my $doc = XML::LibXML->new->parse_string( $somedata );
    my $iter= XML::LibXML::Iterator->new( $doc );

    $iter->iterator_function( \&iterator_function );

    # more control on the flow
    while ( $iter->nextNode ) {
        # do something

    # operate on the entire tree
    $iter->iterate( \&callback_function );


XML::LibXML::Iterator is an iterator class for XML::LibXML parsed
documents. This class allows one to iterate the document tree as it were a
linear data structure. It is possible to step back and forth between
the nodes of the tree and do certain operations on that
nodes. Different to XPath the nodes are not prefetched but will be
calculated for each step. Therefore an iterator is sensible towards
the current state of a document tree on each step, while XPath is only
per query executed.

## What is an iterator?

XML::LibXML offers by default a W3C DOM interface on the parsed XML
documents. This tree has per definition four directions to be
traversed: Up, down, foreward and backward. Therefore a tree can be
considered two dimensional. Although a tree is still one more simple
datastructure it is way to complex for some operations. So the
XML::LibXML::Iterator class breaks the for operations down to only
two: backward and forward. For some people this easier to understand
than DOM or SAX as this follows more the way one actually reads an XML

Therefore an iterator has three basic functions:

- nextNode()
- current()
- previousNode()

That's it. With an iterator one does not have to decide when to dive
into a subtree or find a parent. It is not even required to care about
the boundaries of a certain level. The iterator will get the next node
for you until there is no node left to handle.

In short: An iterator will answer the question about what to do next.

## How to use XML::LibXML::Iterator?

XML::LibXML::Iterator requires a parsed document or at least a node to
operate on. This node is passed to the iterator class and will be used
as the **first** node of the iteration. One can always reset the
iterator to the first node by using the first()-function.

Once XML::LibXML::Iterator is initialized the tree can be traversed by
using either next() or previous(). Both function will return a
XML::LibXML::Node object if there is such object available.

Since the current object hold by the iterator class is always
available via the current() function.

The following example may clarify this:

    # get the document from wherever you like
    my $doc = XML::LibXML->new->parse_stream( *SOMEINPUT );

    # get the iterator for the document root.
    my $iter = XML::LibXML::Iterator->new( $doc->documentElement );

    # walk through the document
    while ( $iter->nextNode() ) {
       my $curnode = $iter->current();
       print $curnode->nodeType();

    # now get back to the beginning
    my $curnode = $iter->current();
    print $curnode->nodeType();

Actually the functions nextNode(), previousNode(), first(), last() and
current() do return the node which is current after the
operation. E.g. nextNode() moves to the next node if possible and then
returns the node. Thus the while-loop in the example can be written

    while ( $iter->nextNode() ) {
       print $_->nodeType();

Note, that just relieing on the return value of next() and previous()
is somewhat dangerous, because both functions return **undef** in case
of reaching the iteration boundaries. That means it is not possible
to iterate past the last element or before the first one.

## Node Filters

XML::LibXML::Iterator accepts XML::NodeFilters to limit the nodes made
available to the caller. Any nodefilter applied to
XML::LibXML::Iterator will test if a node returned by the iteration
function is visible to the caller.

Different to the DOM Traversal Specification, XML::LibXML::Iterator
allows filter stacks. This means it is possible to apply more than a
single node filter to your node iterator.

## Complex Iterations

By default XML::LibXML::Iterator will access all nodes of a given DOM
tree. An interation based on the default iterator will access each
single node in the given subtree once. The order how the nodes will be
accessed is given by the following order:

    node -> node's childnodes -> node's next sibling

In combination with XML::Nodefilter this is best for a wide range of
scripts and applications. Nevertheless this is still to restrictive
for some applications. XML::LibXML::Iterator allows one to change that
behaviour. This is done by resetting XML::LibXML::Iterator's iterator
function. By using the method iterator\_function() to override the
default iterator function, it is possible to implement iterations
based on any iteration rule imaginable.

A valid iterator function has to take two parameters: As the first
parameter it will receive the iterator object itself, as second the
direction of the iteration will be passed. The direction is either 1
(for next()) or -1 (for previous()). As the iterator-function is
called by next() and previous() the interator-function has to be aware
about the iteration boundaries. In case the iteration would pass the
boundary for that operation, the function has to return
undefined. Also the iterator function has to return the new current node,
instead of setting it itself.

\*DEVELOPER NOTE\* In order a single stepping is rather limited, the
direction is given by the sign of the passed integer value. The value
of the passed parameter will be used as an indication how many steps
should be done.  Therefor the interation direction should be tested
relative to '0' and not as a equation. A basic template for a iterator
function therefore will look like this:

    sub iterator_func_templ {
       my $iter = shift;
       my $step = shift;
       my $node = undef;
       my $current = $iter->current();

       if ( $step > 0 ) {
           # move forward
       else {
           # move backward
           $step *= -1; # remove the sign

       return $node;

## Repeated Operation

Another feature of XML::LibXML::Iterator is the ability to repeat a
single operation on all nodes in scope. Instead of writing a loop one
can specify the operation as a function, that it applied on each node
found. The function that does the trick, is named iterate().

iterate() takes again two parameter: First the iterator object, second
the node to operate on. iterate() will iterate through the entire
document starting with the first node. If one has already started an
iteration, the internal position will be reset to the first node.

The following example will show how this works:

    $iter->iterate( sub {my ($iter,$node)=@_; map {$iter->setNodeName( lc $iter->nodeName ) if $iter->nodeType != NAMESPACE_DECLARATION } ($node, $node->attributes);  } );

This extra long line lowercases all tagnames and the names of the
attributes in a given subtree.


- new($first\_node)
- default\_iterator
- first()
- next()
- nextNode()
- previous()
- previousNode()
- last()
- current()
- index()
- iterator\_function($funcion\_ref)
- set\_filter(@filter\_list)
- add\_filter(@filter\_list)
- iterate($function\_ref)


[XML::LibXML::Node](https://metacpan.org/pod/XML%3A%3ALibXML%3A%3ANode), [XML::NodeFilter](https://metacpan.org/pod/XML%3A%3ANodeFilter)


Christian Glahn, <phish@cpan.org>


(c) 2002-2007, Christian Glahn. All rights reserved.

This package is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the same terms as Perl itself.


## Websites

The following websites have more information about this module, and may be of help to you. As always,
in addition to those websites please use your favorite search engine to discover more resources.

- MetaCPAN

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- RT: CPAN's Bug Tracker

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## Bugs / Feature Requests

Please report any bugs or feature requests by email to `bug-xml-libxml-iterator at rt.cpan.org`, or through
the web interface at [https://rt.cpan.org/Public/Bug/Report.html?Queue=XML-LibXML-Iterator](https://rt.cpan.org/Public/Bug/Report.html?Queue=XML-LibXML-Iterator). You will be automatically notified of any
progress on the request by the system.

## Source Code

The code is open to the world, and available for you to hack on. Please feel free to browse it and play
with it, or whatever. If you want to contribute patches, please send me a diff or prod me to pull
from your repository :)


    git clone git://github.com/shlomif/xml-libxml-iterator.git




Please report any bugs or feature requests on the bugtracker website

When submitting a bug or request, please include a test-file or a
patch to an existing test-file that illustrates the bug or desired


This software is copyright (c) 2020 by unknown.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.