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Archive for the ‘XML’ Category

Online XML Pretty Print

Posted by Jeroen Pluimers on 2014/04/22

On my list of on-line tools: XML Pretty Print.

–jeroen

Posted in Development, Software Development, XML, XML/XSD | Leave a Comment »

A Generalised and Comprehensive Solution to CSV to XML and XML to CSV Transformations – Pascaliburnus

Posted by Jeroen Pluimers on 2013/02/21

Two interesting XSLTs:

  • XSLT to parse CSV into XML,
  • XSLT to transform XML to CSV

–jeroen

via: A Generalised and Comprehensive Solution to CSV to XML and XML to CSV Transformations – Pascaliburnus.

Posted in CSV, Development, Software Development, XML, XML/XSD, XSD, XSLT | Leave a Comment »

.NET/C#: Generating a WordPress posting categories page – part 2

Posted by Jeroen Pluimers on 2012/08/22

In Generating a WordPress posting categories page – part 1, you learned how to

  1. get the HTML with all the category information from your WordPress.com blog,
  2. convert that to XHTML,
  3. generate an XSD for the XHTML,
  4. generate C# classes from that XSD

This episode, you will learn how the data read from the XHTML can be transformed to a simple tree in HTML suited for a posting categories page like mine.

In the final post, the same data will be transferred into a real category cloud with font sizes indicating the frequency of the category usage.

From there, you can go into other directions (for instance generating squarified treemaps from the data).

That’s the cool thing about data: there are many ways to visualize, and this series was meant – next to some groundwork on how to get the data – as inspiration into some forms of visualization.
Hope you had fun reading it!

Getting a HTML tree from the optionType items

                StringBuilder outputHtml = new StringBuilder();
                string rootUrl = args[1];
                foreach (optionType item in select.option)
                {
                    if (item.Level == optionType.RootLevel)
                        continue;

                    // <a style="font-size: 100.3986332574%; padding: 1px; margin: 1px;" title="XML/XSD (23)" href="http://wiert.me/category/development/xmlxsd/">XML/XSD</a>
                    string url = String.Format("{0}/category{1}", rootUrl, item.HtmlPath);
                    string prefix = new string('.', item.Level * 5);// optionType.NbspEscaped.Repeat(item.Level);
                    outputHtml.AppendFormat("{0}<a title="{2}" href="{1}">{2} ({3})</a>", prefix, url, item.Category, item.Count);
                    outputHtml.AppendLine();
                }

One way of generating an HTML tree, is to prefix every node with a series of dots corresponding with the level of that node. Not the most pretty sight, but it will suffice for this episode.

Inside each node, I want to show the Category and Count.

Since the optionType as generated from the XSD only contains the below properties, a major portion on this posting is how to decode the Value so we can generate HTML like this:

...............<a href='http://wiert.me/category/development/software-development/net/c-' title='C#'>C#&nbsp;(118)</a>
....................<a href='http://wiert.me/category/development/software-development/net/c-/c--2-0' title='C# 2.0'>C# 2.0&nbsp;(46)</a>
....................<a href='http://wiert.me/category/development/software-development/net/c-/c--3-0' title='C# 3.0'>C# 3.0&nbsp;(33)</a>
....................<a href='http://wiert.me/category/development/software-development/net/c-/c--4-0' title='C# 4.0'>C# 4.0&nbsp;(31)</a>
....................<a href='http://wiert.me/category/development/software-development/net/c-/c--5-0' title='C# 5.0'>C# 5.0&nbsp;(2)</a>

Decoding the optionType Value property

optionType only contains the these properties:

  1. class
    • the class used to reference the style in the stylesheet
    • example value: “level-4″
  2. value
    • internal unique WordPress ID for the category (this allows you to alter the Slug and Value without breaking the links between posts and categories
    • example value: “45149061″
  3. Value
    • string that WordPress uses to make the category combobox look like a tree structure
    • example value: “&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;C# 5.0&nbsp;&nbsp;(2)”

The extra properties needed for the HTML generation logic above are these:

  1. Category
    • the Value undone from leading non breaking space character escapes, and the trailing count information
    • example value: C# 5.0
  2. Count
    • the Value undone from leading non breaking space character escapes, Caption information, separator non breaking space character escapes, and surrounding parenthesis
    • example value: 2
  3. Level
    • the class undone from the level- prefix
    • example value: 4
  4. Slug
    • the category slug is the unique value for a category that WordPress uses to form category urls. It is auto-generated from the Category, but you can also edit it. I don’t, as it is not in the combobox HTML, so I derive it from the Category. Note there are also posting slugs used in the permalink of each post.
    • example value: c--5-0 (it consists of lowercase letters and hyphens derived from the Category)
  5. HtmlPath
  6. parent (used internally for making the HtmlPath code much easier

The really cool thing about XSD2Code is that it generated the optionType C# code as a partial class.
Which means we can extend the generated partial classes in a seperate C# file like the code fragments below (you can download it from the WordPressCategoriesDropDown.cs file at BeSharp.CodePlex.com)

    partial class optionType
    {
        public const int RootLevel = -1;

        private const string slash = "/";
        private const char hyphen = '-';
        public const string NbspEscaped = "&nbsp;";
        private const string emptyCountInParenthesis = "(-1)";

        public optionType parent { get; set; }

        public string Category
        {
            get
            {
                string result;
                string countInParenthesis;
                splitValue(out result, out countInParenthesis);
                return result;
            }
        }

        public int Count
        {
            get
            {
                string category;
                string countInParenthesis;
                splitValue(out category, out countInParenthesis);
                string count = countInParenthesis.Substring(1, countInParenthesis.Length - 2);
                int result = int.Parse(count);
                return result;
            }
        }

        public int Level
        {
            get
            {
                if (string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(@class))
                    return RootLevel;
                string[] split = @class.Split(hyphen);
                string number = split[1];
                int result = int.Parse(number);
                return result;
            }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// This is the HTML part that WordPress uses to reference a Category
        /// </summary>
        public string Slug
        {
            get
            {
                StringBuilder result = new StringBuilder();
                foreach (char item in Category)
                {
                    if (char.IsLetterOrDigit(item))
                        result.Append(item.ToString().ToLower());
                    else
                        if (result.Length > 0)
                            result.Append(hyphen);
                }
                return result.ToString();
            }
        }

        public string HtmlPath
        {
            get
            {
                if (RootLevel == Level)
                    return string.Empty;

                string result = Slug;
                if (null != parent)
                    result = parent.HtmlPath + slash + result;
                return result;
            }
        }

        private void splitValue(out string category, out string countInParenthesis)
        {
            // might want to do this using RegEx, but that is a write-only language http://wiert.me/category/development/software-development/regex/
            string result = Value;
            int nbspCountToStripFromLeftOfValue = Level * 3; // strip 3 &nbsp; for each Level
            for (int i = 0; i < nbspCountToStripFromLeftOfValue; i++)
            {
                int nbspEscapedLength = NbspEscaped.Length;
                if (result.StartsWith(NbspEscaped))
                    result = result.Substring(nbspEscapedLength, result.Length - nbspEscapedLength);
            }
            string doubleNbspEscaped = NbspEscaped + NbspEscaped;
            if (result.Contains(doubleNbspEscaped))
            {
                string[] separators = new string[] { doubleNbspEscaped };
                string[] split = result.Split(separators, StringSplitOptions.None);
                category = split[0];
                countInParenthesis = split[1];
            }
            else
            {
                category = result;
                countInParenthesis = emptyCountInParenthesis;
            }
        }

        public override string ToString()
        {
            string result = string.Format("Level {0}, Count {1}, Slug {2}, HtmlPath {3}, Category '{4}'", Level, Count, Slug, HtmlPath, Category);
            return result;
        }
    }

The bulk of the above code is in the splitValue method (that could have used RegEx, but I try to avoid RegEx when I can do without it).
Note that the HtmlPath propererty uses the parent property. Without it, the HtmlPath code would have been very complex. The value of the parent properties for all optionType instances is generated in the selectType.FixParents method below since the selectType instance contains all the optionType instances in its’ option property.

    partial class selectType
    {
        public void FixParents()
        {
            Stack<optionType> itemStack = new Stack<optionType>();
            optionType parent = null;
            int previousLevel = optionType.RootLevel;

            foreach (optionType item in option)
            {
                int itemLevel = item.Level;
                if (itemLevel == previousLevel)
                {
                    if (optionType.RootLevel != itemLevel)
                    {
                        itemStack.Pop();
                        item.parent = parent;
                    }
                    itemStack.Push(item);
                }
                else
                {
                    if (itemLevel > previousLevel)
                    {
                        parent = itemStack.Peek();
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        do
                        {
                            itemStack.Pop();
                            parent = itemStack.Peek();
                            previousLevel = parent.Level;
                        }
                        while (previousLevel >= itemLevel);
                    }
                    itemStack.Push(item);
                    item.parent = parent;
                    previousLevel = itemLevel;
                }
            }
        }
    }

–jeroen

Posted in .NET, C#, C# 4.0, C# 5.0, Development, LINQ, Software Development, Usability, User Experience, Web Development, WordPress, WordPress, XML, XML escapes, XML/XSD, XSD | 3 Comments »

Need some help: parsing almost well formed XML fragments: how to skip over multiple XML headers – Stack Overflow

Posted by Jeroen Pluimers on 2012/08/16

If anyone knows a better solution than string search/replace, please let me know:

I’m required to write a tool that can handle the below XML fragment that is not well formed as it contains XML declarations in the middle of the stream.

The company already has these kinds files in use for a long time, so there is no option to change the format.

There is no source code available that does the parsing, and the platform of choice for new tooling is .NET 4 or newer preferably with C#.

This is how the fragments look like: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in .NET, .NET 2.0, .NET 3.0, .NET 3.5, .NET 4.0, C#, C# 2.0, C# 3.0, C# 4.0, Development, Software Development, XML, XML/XSD | Leave a Comment »

.NET/C#: Generating a WordPress posting categories page – part 1

Posted by Jeroen Pluimers on 2012/07/31

From the category cloud it is hard to see that the categories are organized as a hierarchy. The combobox on the right shows that, but does not have room to properly show the hierarchy. Since WordPress.com does not allow you to deploy your own code, I worked around it in this way using a small .NET C# console program:

  1. Extract the HTML for the All Categories combobox on the right of the page.
  2. Convert that HTML to XHTML (and therefore XML)
  3. Generate XSD from that XML
  4. Generate C# class wrappers from the XSD

Future posts will show more logic on how to handle the imported information, and generate nice category overviews. Preliminary source code is at the BeSharp.net source repository.

Extract the HTML

The HTML is not fully accurate (see my post on HTML and XML escapes from last week), but it is fairly easy to extract. Most web browsers allow you to view the source of your web page. Do that, then search for “All Categories”. Now you see HTML like this:

</pre>
<h2 class="widgettitle">All categories</h2>
<pre><select class="postform" name="cat"><option value="-1">Select Category</option></select><select class="postform" name="cat"><option class="level-0" value="256">About  (66)</option></select><select class="postform" name="cat"><option class="level-1" value="64">   Personal  (60)</option></select><select class="postform" name="cat"><option class="level-2" value="20254983">      Adest Musica  (7)</option></select><select class="postform" name="cat"><option class="level-2" value="32122">      Certifications  (2)</option></select><select class="postform" name="cat">...</select><select class="postform" name="cat"><option class="level-0" value="756">Comics  (3)</option></select><select class="postform" name="cat"><option class="level-0" value="780">Development  (473)</option></select><select class="postform" name="cat"><option class="level-1" value="872460">   Database Development  (55)</option></select><select class="postform" name="cat">...</select><select class="postform" name="cat"><option class="level-0" value="9280">User Experience  (3)</option></select>

I don’t need the H2 heading line, but the rest I do need to generate XML from. I saved the HTML into a text file for processing by the console app.

Convert the HTML to XML

The HTML contains loads of &nbsp;, but XML does not allow for that entity. So the & ampersand needs to be escaped into &amp;This also solves other uses of & in the HTML. The rest of the HTML is XHTML compliant, so does not require change, which results into this C# conversion method:

        private static string toXml(string inputHtml)
        {
            string result = inputHtml.Replace("&", "&");
            return result;
        }

Generate an XSD for the XML, then amend the XSD

Given my comparison of tools for generating XSD from XML, so I used the XmlForAsp XML Schema generator, with the “Separate Complex Types” option. (Note: I will link to the XSD before/after, as WordPress – yet again – screws the XSD sourcecode in the post; this should do for now). That gives me XSD like this (XML is also at pastebin):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<xsd:schema attributeFormDefault="unqualified" elementFormDefault="qualified" version="1.0" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
 <xsd:element name="select" type="selectType" />
 <xsd:complexType name="selectType">
  <xsd:sequence>
   <xsd:element maxOccurs="unbounded" name="option" type="optionType" />
  </xsd:sequence>
  <xsd:attribute name="name" type="xsd:string" />
  <xsd:attribute name="id" type="xsd:string" />
  <xsd:attribute name="class" type="xsd:string" />
 </xsd:complexType>
 <xsd:complexType name="optionType">
  <xsd:attribute name="value" type="xsd:int" />
 </xsd:complexType>
</xsd:schema>

Which is not complete, but gives a good start. The actual XSD it needs to be like this with a more elaborate optionType complex type that also defines it’s own content as deriving from xsd:string, and adds the class attribute (XML is also at pastebin):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<xsd:schema attributeFormDefault="unqualified" elementFormDefault="qualified" version="1.0" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
 <xsd:element name="select" type="selectType" />
 <xsd:complexType name="selectType">
  <xsd:sequence>
   <xsd:element maxOccurs="unbounded" name="option" type="optionType" />
  </xsd:sequence>
  <xsd:attribute name="name" type="xsd:string" />
  <xsd:attribute name="id" type="xsd:string" />
  <xsd:attribute name="class" type="xsd:string" />
 </xsd:complexType>
 <xsd:complexType name="optionType">
  <xsd:simpleContent>
  <xsd:extension base="xsd:string">
   <xsd:attribute name="class" type="xsd:string" />
   <xsd:attribute name="value" type="xsd:int" />
  </xsd:extension>
 </xsd:simpleContent>
 </xsd:complexType>
</xsd:schema>

Generate C# classes from the XSD

You can generate C# wrapper classes using the XSD.exe tool that ships with Visual Studio, but XSD.exe is hard to use, is hard to integrate into Visual Studio (despite Microsoft Connect request for it), the XSD.exe generated code still needs work for deserializing, and XSD.exe has very limited generation options (heck, after it changed from .NET 1.x to 2.0, it hasn’t been updated for about a decade). XSD2Code has some great reviews, to I used that in stead. And indeed, very well integrates into Visual Studio 2010, and generates very nice C#, especially when you use the options (see also the screenshot on the right):

  • Under Serialization, set Enabled to True
  • Under Serialization, set GenerateXmlAttributes to True

That way, loading the HTML, converting it to XML, then deserializing it into object instances is as simple as this:

                string inputFileName = args[0];
                string inputHtml = getHtml(inputFileName);
                string xml = toXml(inputHtml);
                selectType select = selectType.Deserialize(xml);

More on actually working with the loaded instances in the next episode, including the great benefit of XSD2Code: it generates C# code as partial classes.

–jeroen

Posted in .NET, C#, C# 4.0, C# 5.0, Development, SocialMedia, Software Development, Usability, User Experience, Web Development, WordPress, WordPress, XML, XML escapes, XML/XSD, XSD | 1 Comment »

 
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