Help parsing a text file

William Gill noreply at domain.invalid
Mon Aug 29 20:21:48 CEST 2011

I haven't done much with Python for a couple years, bouncing around 
between other languages and scripts as needs suggest, so I have some 
minor difficulty keeping Python functionality Python functionality in my 
head, but I can overcome that as the cobwebs clear.  Though I do seem to 
keep tripping over the same Py2 -> Py3 syntax changes (old habits die hard).

I have a text file with XML like records that I need to parse.  By XML 
like I mean records have proper opening and closing tags. but fields 
don't have closing tags (they rely on line ends).  Not all fields appear 
in all records, but they do adhere to a defined sequence.

My initial passes into Python have been very unfocused (a scatter gun of 
too many possible directions, yielding very messy results), so I'm 
asking for some suggestions, or algorithms (possibly even examples)that 
may help me focus.

I'm not asking anyone to write my code, just to nudge me toward a more 
disciplined approach to a common task, and I promise to put in the 
effort to understand the underlying fundamentals.

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