07 May 2008

Better XML needed in Python

I must say that I have just about lost patience with the heroic maintainers and developers of python xml libraries. I'm grateful to have those tools at my disposal but am frustrated that so many key ones seem to languish or are somewhat incomplete. For example, I love elementtree but there still is incomplete XPath support. I really need XPath and have to use 4Suite to get it. I also use 4Suite for applying style sheets. 4Suite is good but is just awkward enough to be not joyful to use. It went for a while without any updates and sat at beta status seemingly forever. Then there's ZSI for SOAP. Well, SOAP is pretty unhappy stuff anyway so you just kind of have to make the best of a bad situation.

Believe it or not, I have to use elementtree, 4Suite, and ZSI on a single project. Oh well, at least I was able to ditch PyXML on that project.

Thanks for the rant space.


  1. I'm not happy with Python XML support either. I've run into Python oddities with XML in various efforts. When performance hasn't been a consideration I've even used BeautifulSoup to pull out needed content.

  2. @pyDanny: thanks for the pointer to BeautifulSoup. I read somewhere once that a language can't be considered enterprise-worthy unless it has first-class XML support. Whether I like it or not, XML rules the roost, especially for interoperability. I'm not skilled enough or smart enough to do a python XML project and am hoping that others are. I'm especially hoping that the current heroes of python XML don't lose interest in making their tools better, e.g., elementtree.