The built-in Expat parser makes it possible to process XML documents in PHP.
XML is used to describe data and to focus on what data is. An XML file describes the structure of
In XML, no tags are predefined. You must define your own tags.
If you want to learn more about XML, please visit our XML
To read and update - create and manipulate - an XML document, you will need an XML parser.
There are two basic types of XML parsers:
The Expat parser is an event-based parser.
Event-based parsers focus on Content of the XML documents, not their structure. Because of this,
event-based parsers can access data faster than tree-based parsers.
Look at the following XML fraction:
An event-based parser reports the XML above as a series of three events:
The XML example above contains well-formed XML. However, the example is not valid XML, because
there is no Document Type Definition (DTD) associated with it.
However, this makes no difference when using the Expat parser. Expat is a non-validating parser,
and ignores any DTDs.
As an event-based, non-validating XML parser, Expat is fast and small, and a perfect match for
PHP web applications.
Note: XML documents must be well-formed or Expat will generate an error.
The XML Expat parser functions are part of the PHP core. There is no installation needed to use
The XML file below will be used in our example:
We want to initialize the XML parser in PHP, define some handlers for different XML events, and
then parse the XML file.
The output of the code above will be:
How it works:
For more information about the PHP Expat functions, visit our PHP XML
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