XML::Mini::Document - Perl implementation of the XML::Mini Document API.


        use XML::Mini::Document;
        my $xmlDoc = XML::Mini::Document->new();
        # init the doc from an XML string
        # Fetch the ROOT element for the document
        # (an instance of XML::Mini::Element)
        my $xmlRoot = $xmlDoc->getRoot();
        # play with the element and its children
        # ...
        my $topLevelChildren = $xmlRoot->getAllChildren();
        foreach my $childElement (@{$topLevelChildren})
                # ...
        # Create a new document
        my $newDoc = XML::Mini::Document->new();
        my $newDocRoot = $newDoc->getRoot();
        # create the <? xml ?> header
        my $xmlHeader = $newDocRoot->header('xml');
        # add the version 
        $xmlHeader->attribute('version', '1.0');
        my $person = $newDocRoot->createChild('person');
        my $name = $person->createChild('name');
        my $eyes = $person->createChild('eyes');
        $eyes->attribute('color', 'blue');
        $eyes->attribute('number', 2);
        # output the document
        print $newDoc->toString();

This example would output :

 <?xml version="1.0"?>
  <eyes color="blue" number="2" />


The XML::Mini::Document class is the programmer's handle to XML::Mini functionality.

A XML::Mini::Document instance is created in every program that uses XML::Mini. With the XML::Mini::Document object, you can access the root XML::Mini::Element, find/fetch/create elements and read in or output XML strings.


Creates a new instance of XML::Mini::Document, optionally calling fromString with the passed XMLSTRING


Returns a reference the this document's root element (an instance of XML::Mini::Element)


setRoot NEWROOT Set the document root to the NEWROOT XML::Mini::Element object.

isElement ELEMENT

Returns a true value if ELEMENT is an instance of XML::Mini::Element, false otherwise.

isNode NODE

Returns a true value if NODE is an instance of XML::MiniNode, false otherwise.

createElement NAME [VALUE]

Creates a new XML::Mini::Element with name NAME.

This element is an orphan (has no assigned parent) and will be lost unless it is appended (XML::Mini::Element::appendChild()) to an element at some point.

If the optional VALUE (string or numeric) parameter is passed, the new element's text/numeric content will be set using VALUE. Returns a reference to the newly created element.

getElement NAME [POSITON]

Searches the document for an element with name NAME.

Returns a reference to the first XML::Mini::Element with name NAME, if found, NULL otherwise.

NOTE: The search is performed like this, returning the first element that matches:

 - Check the Root Element's immediate children (in order) for a match.
 - Ask each immediate child (in order) to XML::Mini::Element::getElement()
  (each child will then proceed similarly, checking all it's immediate
   children in order and then asking them to getElement())

If a numeric POSITION parameter is passed, getElement() will return only the POSITIONth element of name NAME (starting at 1). Thus, on document

  <?xml version="1.0"?>

$people->getElement('person') will return the element containing the text node 'bob', while $people->getElement('person', 3) will return the element containing the text 'ralph'.


Attempts to return a reference to the (first) element at PATH where PATH is the path in the structure from the root element to the requested element.

For example, in the document represented by:

           <accessid user="myusername" password="mypassword" />

        $accessid = $xmlDocument->getElementByPath('partRateRequest/vendor/accessid');

Will return what you expect (the accessid element with attributes user = "myusername" and password = "mypassword").

BUT be careful:

        my $accessid = $xmlDocument->getElementByPath('partRateRequest/partList/partNum');

will return the partNum element with the value "DA42". To access other partNum elements you must either use the POSITIONSARRAY or the getAllChildren() method on the partRateRequest element.

POSITIONSARRAY functions like the POSITION parameter to getElement(), but instead of specifying the position of a single element, you must indicate the position of all elements in the path. Therefore, to get the third part number element, you would use

        my $thirdPart = $xmlDocument->getElementByPath('partRateRequest/partList/partNum', 1, 1, 3);

The additional 1,1,3 parameters indicate that you wish to retrieve the 1st partRateRequest element in the document, the 1st partList child of partRateRequest and the 3rd partNum child of the partList element (in this instance, the partNum element that contains 'ss-839uent').

Returns the XML::Mini::Element reference if found, NULL otherwise.

parse SOURCE

Initialise the XML::Mini::Document (and its root XML::Mini::Element) using the XML from file SOURCE.

SOURCE may be a string containing your XML document.

In addition to parsing strings, possible SOURCEs are:

        # a file location string 
        # an open file handle
        open(INFILE, '/path/to/file.xml');
        # an open FileHandle object
        my $fhObj = FileHandle->new();

In all cases where SOURCE is a file or file handle, XML::Mini takes care of slurping the contents and closing the handle.

fromString XMLSTRING

Initialise the XML::Mini::Document (and it's root XML::Mini::Element) using the XML string XMLSTRING.

Returns the number of immediate children the root XML::Mini::Element now has.


Initialise the XML::Mini::Document (and it's root XML::Mini::Element) using the XML from file FILNAME.

Returns the number of immediate children the root XML::Mini::Element now has.

toString [DEPTH]

Converts this XML::MiniDoc object to a string and returns it.

The optional DEPTH may be passed to set the space offset for the first element.

If the optional DEPTH is set to $XML::Mini::NoWhiteSpaces no \n or whitespaces will be inserted in the xml string (ie it will all be on a single line with no spaces between the tags.

Returns a string of XML representing the document.


Stringify and save the XML document to file FILENAME

If SAFE flag is passed and is a true value, toFile will do some extra checking, refusing to open the file if the filename matches m|/\.\./| or m|#;`\*| or if FILENAME points to a softlink. In addition, if SAFE is 'NOOVERWRITE', toFile will fail if the FILENAME already exists.


Utility function, call the root XML::Mini::Element's getValue()


Debugging aid, dump returns a nicely formatted dump of the current structure of the XML::MiniDoc object.


It is impossible to parse "cross-nested" tags using regular expressions (i.e. sequences of the form <a><b><a>...</a></b></a>). However, if you have the Text::Balanced module installed (it is installed by default with Perl 5.8), such sequences will be handled flawlessly.

Even if you do not have the Text::Balanced module available, it is still possible to generate this type of XML - the problem only appears when parsing.


Copyright (C) 2002-2003 Patrick Deegan, Psychogenic Inc.

Programs that use this code are bound to the terms and conditions of the GNU GPL (see the LICENSE file). If you wish to include these modules in non-GPL code, you need prior written authorisation from the authors.


    XML::Mini::Document module, part of the XML::Mini XML parser/generator package.
    Copyright (C) 2002-2003 Patrick Deegan
    All rights reserved
    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
    it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    (at your option) any later version.

    This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
    but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
    GNU General Public License for more details.

    You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
    along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
    Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA

Official XML::Mini site:

Contact page for author available at


XML::Mini, XML::Mini::Element