New to Programming - XML Processing

sohcahtoa82 at sohcahtoa82 at
Thu Apr 2 02:46:17 CEST 2015

On Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 3:34:15 PM UTC-7, catperson wrote:
> On Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:17:38 -0700 (PDT), 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)š 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
> >-----------
> >š At the least because environments like Idle are more conducive to such playing
> I thank everyone for their feedback.  I like the above advice and also
> Rustom's other comments about learning dictionaries.  I'm thinking in
> the back of my mind my issue might be more around the dictionary than
> ElementTree at this point.  
>  I'll fill in my situation a little based on the queries back to me.
> I'm using a book, Python Programming Fundamentals by Kent D. Lee.  
> It looks like he has updated his website since I last looked at it.  I
> know there are many tutorials out there, however, I picked this one
> and resolved to complete it start to finish.  That means a lot of side
> research and reading, which I'm happy to do.  
> I've got somewhat of a handle on the basic XML parsing process (my
> opinion).  The book uses minidom, but my reading suggests that
> ElementTree is a better option, so I thought I'd switch to that and
> attempt to duplicate the exercise.
> I understand this bit;
> import xml.etree.ElementTree as etree
> tree = etree.parse('workout.tcx')
> root = tree.getroot()
>               <LatitudeDegrees>34.5225040</LatitudeDegrees>
>               <LongitudeDegrees>-77.3563351</LongitudeDegrees>
> Jim.

This is on the coast of North Carolina, for anyone curious, just south of Snead's Ferry.

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