XML Converter

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Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:05 pm

XML Converter

Post by gorg »

I've been hoping for several releases that you would provide at least a simple XML converter. At a minimum it would amount to a simple pretty-printer so that the two XML files are formatted by the same rules. I supose I'll be able to find free XML pretty-printers on the web, but it would be nice if your web site pointed me to one I might use.

Even better, build in some smarts about XML:
  • Since, by definition, the ordering of attributes does not matter in XML, sort them alphabetically by name before comparison.
  • Consider <element></element> and <element/> to be equivalent for comparison.
  • Based on an XML schema (say, W3C XSD; maybe a DTD or some other format as well), more smarts could be built in. For example:
    • (absence of attribute) == (attribute specified with default value)
    • elements that can appear in any order are sorted in some canonical way so that differences can be seen easily.
[A feature to add in or strip out default attributes values would be nice, too, though that would probably be going beyond the scope of Compare It!'s mission.]

If everything is done by manipulating the XML documents into some canonical form before doing the comparison, then it would be useful to have some sort of visual indication about what mods had been taken and where. Or, at least, the ability to easily turn on/off various options and rerun the converter/comparison without having to go through the Options menu to reconfigure the converter.

Since XML is such a big thing these days, you might consider whether it warrants building some XML-savvy features into this wonderful tool itself.

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Post by grigsoft »

Thank you for suggestion! Of course, XML support is at high-priority part of my todo list. But I always wanted to implement it with more-or-less full featured xml editor to allow easy merging. Now that v4 allows inserting various editors, I'm planning to deal with XML closely. Probably, as first step, I will implement some normalizer myself - I could not find anything good enough in internet.

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