A Complete Tutorial On Selecting The Best XML Parser

This is a guest article submitted by Emily Heming, a savvy writer for a leading Mobile Application Development Company from where you can also avail the facility to hire dedicated iPhone developers with her best assistance.

XML parser forms a crucial component of every iPhone app development project. Being careless during the selection of an XML parser can refrain you from developing an outstanding iPhone app. With an incredible collection of XML parsers available for the iPhone projects, it often becomes tedious for the developers to choose the best XML parser.

Through this blog, I intend to make it convenient for you to select an XML parser for your iPhone app development project. I'll be sharing tips that would enable you to choose from a million different XML parsers that are available for the iPhone. So, let's know more about these tips and make the most of them.

Unleashing the types and importance of an XML Parser

Well, deciphering the XML code included within an app is something that's quite crucial and challenging for the developers who're going to work on the app's development part in the future. An XML parser is the component that does this job well. It offers all the vital information to the program on how it should read the XML code. There are two types of XML parsers, as explained below:

SAX parser – This is the one wherein the XML code is notified as and when the parser navigates through the XML tree. Here, you need to keep a track of the state and objects that are required for monitoring the data.

DOM Parser – This is the one that reads the entire XML document and builds up an in-memory representation. While using a DOM parser, you can even construct Xpath queries for pulling out particular pieces of code.

And now, XML parser selection tips you can't afford to miss

1. Analyze what you actually want to do with the parser

The selection of an XML parser primarily depends on what you actually want to do with the help of the parser. If you're inclined on just reading small XML documents, then a parser like TouchXML, GdataXML, and KissXML can turn to be handy. Similarly, if you want to read extremely large XML documents, then the parser's performance is something you need to be bothered about. Under such a situation, XML parsers like TBXML, LIBXML2 SAX and libxml DOM serve as the best fit.

2. Check out the accuracy rate of deciphering the XML code

As one of the commonly overlooked factors for choosing a parser, the accuracy of deciphering XML code is something that needs to be paid due to heeding to. While choosing an XML parser, you need to check whether there are any non-trivial bugs or not.
Although no parser is perfect, there is definitely some that turn to be more reliable as compared to others. Two of the commonly encountered bugs in XML Parsers include the ones mentioned below:
  • Failure to report the incorrect syntax used in the code
  • Reporting the correct constructs as errors
Well, it’s actually hard to say which one of the above two is more severe. While the former one causes issues for systems that receive malformed documents which finally get rejected, the latter one prevents you from handling the data efficiently.

3. Check out the parsing speed of the shortlisted XML Parser

Before proceeding ahead with the selection of an XML parser, it is necessary to check out the parsing speed of the parser in addition to the amount of memory space that's consumed by it.

If you're planning to serve the XML document via a network, then the speed with which data is moved over the network is to be watched out. It is quite essential to buffer your I/O or else it's going to affect your code's performance, irrespective of how fast or how slow the parser is. Talking about memory space, SAX is generally much more efficient as compared to DOM parser.

4. Check out the license under which the parser has been published

It is important to check out the license under which the parser is published. While a majority of parsers are available for free in the free-beer sense, others are free in the free-speech sense. Ensure that the license restrictions don't get in your way of selecting the right XML parser for your iPhone project.

Wrapping Up

So, with those handy XML parser selection tips, I'm sure it would become simpler for you to choose a relevant and highly useful parser for your next iPhone app development venture.

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