** Documentation on the sax interface of the xml module
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/*! \page xml-sax-features-walkthrough.html
\title Walkthrough: Using SAX2 features with the Qt XML classes
This document assumes that you are familiar with \link xml.html#namespaces
namespaces \endlink in XML and the concept of a \link xml.html#sax2 SAX2
If features of SAX2 readers are new to you please read
\link xml.html#sax2Features the feature section \endlink of the SAX2 document.
As a novice to the Qt XML classes it is advisable to have a look at the
\link xml-sax-walkthrough.html tiny SAX2 parser walkthrough \endlink before
This walkthrough covers two topics: First of all it shows how to
set SAX2 features and secondly how to integrate the Qt XML functionality
into a Qt GUI application.
The resulting application allows you to compare the output of the reader
depending on how the two features
and \e http://xml.org/sax/features/namespaces are set.
To do this it shows tree views of the read XML file
listing the qualified names of elements and attributes and the respective
Let's begin with the main program of the application. First the boring
part: we include all the classes we need:
\link #structureparser.h structureparser.h \endlink contains the API of
the XML parser that we implement in \link #structureparser.cpp
As usual we then create a Qt application object and hand command line arguments
over to it.
If the user runs the program with one filename as
an argument we process this file, otherwise we use the \e fnord.xml file from
the example directory for demonstration purposes.
We use \e xmlFile as the XML Input Source...
... and instantiate a \e reader object. Later we will manipulate its features
and thus influence how the XML data are read.
Now let's think about presenting the output: As described in the
\link xml.html#sax2Features Qt SAX2 documentation \endlink
there are three valid combinations of \e
and \e http://xml.org/sax/features/namespaces: TRUE/TRUE, TRUE/FALSE and
FALSE/TRUE. To show the relevant output side by side of each other
and mark them with three labels makes up for a grid layout consisting
of three columns (and thus two lines).
The most natural way of presenting XML elements is in a tree.
Thus we use a listview. Its name \e nameSpace indicates that this
one will be used to present the combination of \e
http://xml.org/sax/features/namespaces being TRUE and
being FALSE -- the default configuration of a \l QXmlSimpleReader.
Being the first grid entry the \e nameSpace listview will
appear in the upper left corner of the virtual grid.
Then we create a handler that deals with the XML data read by the reader.
As the provided handler class \l QXmlDefaultHandler simply does nothing
with the data from the reader,
we can't use it right away. Instead we have to subclass our
own \link #structureparser.cpp StructureParser \endlink from it.
The \e handler serves as content handler for the reader. Note that
for simplicity reasons we don't register e.g. an error handler. Thus
our program will not complain about for example missing closing tags
in the parsed XML document.
Finally we parse the document with the reader's default feature settings.
Now we prepare for the parsing of the same XML input source with
different reader settings. The output will be presented in
a second \l QListView, \e namespacePrefix. As it is the second
member of the \e container grid it will appear in the middle of
the upper grid row.
Then we ask the \e handler to present the data in the \e namespacePrefix
Now we modify the behaviour of the \e reader and change
\e http://xml.org/sax/features/namespace-prefixes from the default FALSE
to TRUE. The \e http://xml.org/sax/features/namespaces feature has
still its default setting TRUE.
We have to reset the input source to make the new parsing start from the
beginning of the document again.
Finally we parse the XML file a second time with the changed reader
Next we prepare and use the upper right listview to show the reader results
with the feature setting \e http://xml.org/sax/features/namespaces
FALSE and \e http://xml.org/sax/features/namespace-prefixes TRUE.
\printline namespace label
\printuntil namespace prefix label
\printuntil prefix label
The second row of the \e container grid is filled with three labels
denoting the reader settings that belong to the above listview.
Same procedure as with every Qt GUI program: the grid serves as the
main widget of our application and is shown. After that we enter
the GUI's event loop.
<h3><a name="structureparser.h">The handler API</a></h3>
Let's have a brief look at the API of our handler class
We derive it from the \l QXmlDefaultHandler class that
implements a handler that simply does nothing.
This makes it easy for us to implement only the functionality
we in fact need. In our case this is the constructor that
takes a \l QListView as an argument,
the function to execute at the occurrence of element start tags
(inherited from \l QXmlContentHandler), and
the code to run when an end tag occurs.
All we have to implement so far is content handling.
In addition we have a function that selects a listview
for the output.
Keep in mind that we write a SAX2 parser that doesn't
have an object model to keep all elements and attributes
in memory. To display the elements and attributes in a tree like
structure we must however keep track of all elements
that haven't been closed yet.
To do this we use a LIFO stack
of QListItems. An element will be added to the stack when
its start tag appears and removed
as soon as its end tag is parsed.
Apart from this we define a member variable that contains
the currently used listview.
<h3><a name="structureparser.cpp">The handler itself</a></h3>
Now that we defined the API we have to implement the
First we have the constructor that takes a listview pointer as
All we have to do here is to prepare the argument \l QListView
before usage. This we do with the \link #setListView()
setListView() \endlink function.
First we store the argument away.
We want the elements to be listed as they appear in the
document -- and not for example sorted alphabetically. That's
why we switch off sorting at all.
The listview now consists of two columns: one for the
element's or attribute's qualified names and one for
their namespace URIs. Columns are added from left to right
and with the title as an argument.
Now let's deal with XML content handling.
When we come across the start tag of an element the handler does
the real work. Although \e startElement is called with four
arguments we keep track of only three: the namespace URI
of the element, its qualified name and its attributes.
If an element has no namespace assigned or if the feature
settings of the reader don't provide the handler with
namespace URIs at all \e namespaceURI contains an empty
Note that we don't assign a variable to the second argument --
we're simply not interested in the local name of the element.
Whenever an element occurs we want to show it in the listview.
Therefore we define a \l QListViewItem variable.
As long as the element \e stack isn't empty the current element
is a child of the topmost (last unclosed) element on the stack. Thus we
create a new \l QListViewItem as a child of QPtrStack::stack.top() with
the new element's qualified name in the first column and the according
namespace URI (or nothing) in the second one.
The QListViewItem is usally inserted as the first child. This means that we
would get the elements in reverse order. So we first search for the last
child of the QPtrStack::stack.top() element and insert it after this
In a valid XML document this applies to all elements except
the document root.
The root element we have to handle separately because it is
the first element to go onto the \l QListViewItem stack.
Its listview item is therefore a direct child of the
\e table listview itself.
Now we put the element's listview item on top of the stack.
By default a QListView presents all of its nodes closed.
The user may then click on the \e + icon to see the child
We however want to see the entire element tree
at once when we run the program.
Therefore we open each listview item manually.
What do we do if an element has attributes?
For each of them we create a new listview item to present the attribute's
qualified name and the relevant namespace URI (or nothing).
Obviously \e attribute is a child of
the current \e element.
To prevent the reader from throwing an error we have to
return TRUE when we successfully dealt with an
element's start tag.
Whenever we come across an element's closing tag we
have to remove its listview item from the stack as
it can't have children any longer.
And so we're done.