[XML-SIG] Choice of XML packages

Mike Brown mike at skew.org
Tue Nov 18 03:07:23 EST 2003

Derek Fountain wrote:
> On Tuesday 18 November 2003 15:05, Mark Brand wrote:
> > i will get in first
> > 	http://www.4suite.org/index.xhtml
> OK, I'll look into that one. But isn't there a great deal of this package in 
> PyXML? The names 4Suite and Forethought Inc. kept cropping up in the 
> documentation to PyXML IIRC. What's the relationship there?

http://4suite.org/docs/timeline.html (maybe just skim it from the bottom up).

In short: Some shared developers, some shared code. 

Fourthought's DOM, XPath, XSLT, RDF and ODS implementations were all
open-source add-ons to PyXML. 

Fourthought's fully-Python DOM Level 1 implementation, 4DOM, became part of
PyXML 0.6.0, and by 0.6.4, 4DOM's maintenance was fully handed off to the
PyXML team.

Fourthought's XPath and XSLT code was based on extensions to PyXML's minidom,
and at one point was incorporated into PyXML as xml.xpath and xml.xslt.
However, major API changes and the emergence of Fourthought's C-based,
XPath-optimized "Domlette" resulted in the rapid obsolescence of this code,
and the decreasing interest in undertaking the ever-more-daunting task of
bringing it up-to-date.

4Suite was/is just the name for all of Fourthought's XML/RDF/ODS tools,
although after the 4Suite 0.11.1 release a little over 2 years ago, the PyXML
dependency was lifted, and the tools were all distributed in one package (so
4Suite is more of a single product now, although its components are still
usable somewhat independently).

> And are there any other packages to look at? I'd like to be able to say I 
> researched all avenues.

<plug>In general, if you want to experiment with XPath, XSLT, and RDF
processing in Python, 4Suite is state of the art, and has interesting
integration features, especially if you're interested in building web-based
knowledge-management applications with RDF and XSLT with no glue code.</plug>

Other options that I know people are using with much success are Pyana (a
Python wrapper for Xalan) and the libxml2/libxslt Python modules that wrap
Daniel Veillard's XML/XSLT C libs for GNOME, which are of course very speedy.

All are in fairly active development. All have bugs, too. :)

-Mike (one of the 4Suite developers / Fourthought consultants)

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