New to Programming - XML Processing

Andrew Farrell amfarrell at
Wed Apr 1 06:27:57 CEST 2015

You should follow Rustom's advice before just diving into the blog post I
linked to. Otherwise you risk blindly following things and losing your
bearings when you run into bugs.

On Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 11:17 PM, Rustom Mody <rustompmody at> wrote:

> On Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 8:57:15 AM UTC+5:30, catperson wrote:
> > I am new to programming, though not new to computers.  I'm looking to
> > teach myself Python 3 and am working my way through a tutorial.  At
> > the point I'm at in the tutorial I am tasked with parsing out an XML
> > file created with a Garmin Forerunner and am just having a terrible
> > time getting my head around the concepts.  What I'm looking for is
> > some suggested reading that might give me some of the theory of
> > operation behind ElementTree and then how to parse out specific
> > elements.  Most of what I have been able to find in examples that I
> > can understand use very simplistic XML files and this Garmin file is
> > many levels of sub-elements and some of those elements have attributes
> > assigned, like <Activity Sport="Running">.
> >
> > I'm hoping with enough reading I can experiment and work my way
> > through the problem and end up with a hopefully clear understanding of
> > the ElementTree module and Dictionairies.
> >
> > Thanks for any suggestions in advance.
> Suggestions:
> 1. Learn to use the interpreter interactively; ie (at the least)¹ ie
> a. Start up python (without a program)
> b. Play around with trivial expressions
> c. Explore introspective features - help(), type() dir()
> 2. Do you know about triple-quoted strings?
> a. Start small (or trivial) sub-parts of your XML as triple-quoted
> examples in the
> interpreter and start throwing them at elementtree
> b. If they dont work trivialize further; if they work add complexity
> -----------
> ¹ At the least because environments like Idle are more conducive to such
> playing
> --
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