[XML-SIG] Learning XML processing with Python

Bob Kline bkline at rksystems.com
Fri Aug 8 17:38:25 CEST 2008

Bogdan Bivolaru wrote:
> Hello,
> I have read that Python (community) intends to make Python the best 
> language for XML processing, however that was in a book published in 
> 2004, how is its state now?

Hi, Bogdan.

I'm not sure that goal was ever shared by the Python community at large 
(partly because Guido himself has been a bit scornful of XML, at least 
in the past), but that is still the stated objective on the web page you 
get to if you follow the "Community" links to the XML special interest 
group.  Unfortunately, the Python XML story is in a little bit of 
disarray at the moment.  As you point out yourself, the library which 
that web page recommends hasn't been maintained for years.  There are 
alternate candidates, but it's not clear which to adopt for future 
projects.  Part of the problem is that none of the packages in the 
standard library have any support for validating XML, and suggestions 
that such support would be useful (particularly in light of the SIG's 
stated goal to "make Python /the/ premier language for XML processing" 
[1]) are dismissed on the grounds that (1) most programmers don't want 
to validate the XML they get; and (2) there are too many possible 
validation techniques available, so we won't support any in the standard 
library.  There is support for validation in lxml, but having been 
burned once by building software against the predecessor of that 
package, only to have it abandoned, it's easy to understand reluctance 
to convert everything to depend on yet another package which isn't 
officially supported as part of the standard library.

Sorry for the wet blanket, but I'm afraid that's how things stand right now.

[1] http://www.python.org/community/sigs/current/xml-sig/

Bob Kline
mailto:bkline at rksystems.com

More information about the XML-SIG mailing list