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Writing XML using JavaScript

, 21 Dec 2005
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This article illustrates a Javascript XMLWriter object.

Introduction

My most recent project makes heavy use of remote scripting (or what some people might call AJAX). As such, I wanted an easy way to write XML from JavaScript so that it could be sent to my server. Now, there might be a very simple way of doing this, but I don’t know it if there is. So I decided to write a JavaScript object to simplify the process of writing XML.

Using the code

The object is called XMLWriter. It automatically replaces invalid characters such as quotation marks or greater than signs with the appropriate XML values. However, it does not throw exceptions on invalid tag names, because the application I’m writing won’t have the possibility of producing invalid tag names. If you want to add tag-name validation to the object, it should not be a difficult task.

The XMLWriter object can be created with the JavaScript new command like so:

var XML = new XMLWriter();

The XMLWriter object has the following public methods:

  • BeginNode (Name)
  • EndNode ()
  • Attrib (Name, Value)
  • WriteString (Value)
  • Node (Name, Value)
  • Close ()
  • ToString ()

BeginNode writes out an opening tag, giving it the name that you pass the method. Below is an example, followed by the XML it would produce:

XML.BeginNode(“Foo”);
//Produces:  <Foo

EndNode ends the current node (if any are still open). So following from the BeginNode example, if we were to write XML.EndNode(), the writer would write “/>”. The object is smart enough to know if you have written any text or inner nodes out and will write “</Foo>” if necessary.

Attrib writes out an attribute and value on the currently open node. Below is an example, followed by the XML it would produce:

XML.BeginNode(“Foo”);
XML.Attrib(“Bar”, “Some Value”);
XML.EndNode();
//Produces: <Foo Bar=”Some Value” />

WriteString writes out a string value to the XML document as illustrated below:

XML.BeginNode(“Foo”);
XML.WriteString(“Hello World”);
XML.EndNode();
//Produces <Foo>Hello World</Foo>

The Node method writes out a named tag and value as illustrated below:

XML.Node(“MyNode”, “My Value”);
//Produces: <MyNode>My Value</MyNode>

The Close method does not necessarily need to be called, but it’s a good idea to do so. What it does is end any nodes that have not been ended.

Finally, the ToString method returns the entire XML document as a single string (duh).

Summary

I’ve provided some sample code. The XMLWriter.js file contains all the code you will need to write XML. It is clean code, but uncommented. I’ve tested this code in IE 6.0 and FireFox 1.5.

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

christophilus
Software Developer
United States United States
I'm a professional geek.

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionCan you tell how to give the path of the xml file and write content to that xml. PinmemberMember 828666113-Nov-13 1:15 
Questionlink to xml file PinmemberMember 1023844928-Aug-13 11:21 
Questionhow do i write something into the xml file.? PinmemberVelrats6-Jun-13 5:59 
QuestionHow do I create the XML declaration? PinmemberSamik Sengupta26-Feb-13 9:21 
QuestionNice work... but Pinmembernjfz12-Jun-12 4:16 
Question[Object object] when using it with the $.ajax method PinmemberMortada.Issa22-Jun-11 7:29 
AnswerRe: [Object object] when using it with the $.ajax method PinmemberMortada.Issa22-Jun-11 8:43 
GeneralLicensing PinmemberErgin Salih22-Mar-11 5:13 
GeneralRe: Licensing PinmemberErgin Salih22-Mar-11 7:08 
Generalsfs Pinmembercsz198318-Sep-10 3:32 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmemberharshitp18-Aug-10 22:42 
Generaluse your code in project PinmemberCarsten_CRM1-Jan-10 7:04 
GeneralBeginNode doesn't work PinmemberGerinald30-Jul-09 15:05 
My js code is:
 

function writeInit(label,link)
{
var initwriter = new XMLWriter();
var xStr;
initwriter.WriteString("<?xml version= '1.0'?>\n");
initwriter.WriteString("<!DOCTYPE INIT [");
initwriter.WriteString("<!ELEMENT INIT (FILE)*>");
initwriter.WriteString("<!ELEMENT FILE ( DEF, TAR)>");
initwriter.WriteString("<!ELEMENT DEF (#PCDATA)>");
initwriter.WriteString("<!ELEMENT TAR (#PCDATA)>");
initwriter.WriteString("]>");
initwriter.BeginNode('INIT');
initwriter.BeginNode('FILE');
initwriter.Node('DEF',label);
initwriter.Node('TAR',link);
initwriter.EndNode();
initwriter.EndNode();
initwriter.Close();
xStr=initwriter.ToString();
document.getElementById("txtHint").innerHTML=xStr;
}
If I say BeginNode('INIT');
or BeginNode("INIT");
The node does not show up?
What is the right way to do this?
WriteString does work, however.
Any suggestions?
 
R.Carter
Generalvery useful Pinmembernmreddy8321-Jun-09 8:28 
QuestionUse in project Pinmembermanna17-Dec-08 3:16 
Generaluse in a project im working on Pinmembertkahn611-Jun-08 17:06 
Questionerror undifiend Pinmemberit_pushpakumara9-May-08 2:23 
GeneralQuestion about using in JSP page Pinmembermastaboywonder27-Apr-08 12:23 
Generalsave file Pinmembernh3simman17-Apr-07 18:15 
GeneralRe: save file PinmemberRobertfi26-Jan-11 0:27 
GeneralWant to write existing xml file Pinmemberpravin parmar7-Dec-06 0:37 
GeneralRe: Want to write existing xml file Pinmemberdesigning_designing18-Sep-08 3:00 
GeneralCode suggestion PinmemberMike On Code20-May-06 3:11 

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