RFC: Simple XML Event-Based API for Java

Michael Kay M.H.Kay at eng.icl.co.uk
Thu Dec 18 11:36:15 GMT 1997

I like the way this discussion is going. I don't want to be on anyone's
critical path, but I'll be trying out these interfaces (as an "application
writer") if I can find the time.

I've written a very simple application using AElfred: a converter from an
XML-based encoding of genealogical data back to the "standard"
GEDCOM encoding. (The converter the other way was in Visual Basic,
I will probably rewrite it in Java now I'm getting the hang of it.) It is
beautifully concise, just 17 lines of code apart from the boilerplate
which was copied straight from one of the AElfred sample apps,
and will be even simpler with the proposed revisions to the

To do anything more interesting with the data (i.e. anything that is not
a single-pass operation) I need a tree representation. Yes, I don't
want to build my own. The DOM seems to be the right solution for 
this. The idea of having a choice of parsers with the same event
interface, and a choice of tree-builders that build the same DOM
interface using any of the parsers, is very appealing.

(What I haven't really worked out yet, and would appreciate advice
on, is how to turn the XML objects into a set of genealogical
objects, with methods like getFather(), getMother(), getSpouses(). Do
I need to build a separate tree with the data organised differently,
or should I write methods/functions that operate on the nodes in 
the XML tree? I guess the chemists must have similar problems.)

The other thing I need, which has not really been fully addressed,
is access to the DTD. (Not for this application, which I am doing
just as a learning exercise, but for my real job.) I think we need
some kind of extension to the DOM to provide this.

Regards and thanks for all the good work,
Mike Kay, ICL

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