Peter Hansen peter at
Tue Dec 4 16:20:58 CET 2001

Martin von Loewis wrote:
> Peter Hansen <peter at> writes:
> > For one, you should probably start your XML document with
> > <?xml version="1.0"?> or it won't be valid XML (but that's
> > not necessary for this case.)
> That is not true. Presence of the XML declaration is not a validity
> constraint in XML.

Is it not required in any way at all?  I always thought 
it was.

> > >>> from xml.dom import minidom
> > >>> doc = minidom.parseString(open('test.xml').read())
> > >>> doc.getElementsByTagName('DESCRIPTION')[0].childNodes[0].nodeValue
> > u'EngineStart Leak'
> Actually, obtaining the text by looking at the first child is
> unreliable: The first child may be a comment, and the text may be

Yes, this was not intended to be good style, or generally useful,
but merely an inspiration to the OP to use the interactive
console as a start in learning more about the API.  I could 
have made that clearer.

Peter Hansen, P.Eng.
peter at

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