Stefan Behnel stefan_ml at behnel.de
Mon Feb 28 09:20:38 CET 2011

python at bdurham.com, 27.02.2011 13:52:
> How does VTD-XML compare to XML tools in the stdlib or to 3rd party
> alternatives like lxml?

For one, I'm not aware of any Python wrappers for vtd-xml, despite having 
seen lots of announcements by Jimmy on this list already (not the 
python-announce list, *this* list). So, IMHO, these announcements are to be 
considered spam, or at least vapourware. Also, Jimmy commonly does not 
respond to questions regarding his announcements, so I assume he doesn't 
actually read c.l.py but uses it solely to post his announcements.

That being said, vtd-xml is supposed to be fast, and there are benchmarks 
on the web that seem to suggest that this may be true. For example,


lists its parser as being about twice as fast as libxml2, which is used by 

I say "may be true", because benchmarks rarely indicate the performance 
behaviour in real world code. It does not seem completely unreasonable to 
me that vtd-xml is interesting for Java developers, where XML performance 
isn't really whopping cool and simple-to-use XML tools are rare anyway (I 
never tried it, but vtd-xml also has an aura of a not-so-easy-to-use tool).

It does not seem unreasonable that there are use cases for a very fast 
parser that justify the time it may take to get used to the tool. But its 
'different' nature also makes it clearly lack a lot of tooling around the 
actual parser, which prevents it from positioning itself as a general 
purpose XML tool. I'm yet to be convinced that vtd-xml is an interesting 
tool for a Python developer.


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