I'm working on a script that needs to be able to crosswalk at least a
couple hundred XML files regularly, some of which are quite large.

I've thought of a number of ways to go about this, but I wanted to bounce
this off the list since I'm sure people here deal with this problem all the
time. My goal is to make something that's easy to read/maintain without
pegging the CPU and consuming too much memory.

The performance and load I'm seeing from running the files through LibXML
and SimpleXML on the large files is completely unacceptable. SAX is not out
of the question, but I'm trying to avoid it if possible to keep the code
more compact and easier to read.

I'm tempted to streamedit out all line breaks since they occur in
unpredictable places and put new ones at the end of each record into a temp
file. Then I can read the temp file one line at a time and process using
SimpleXML. That way, there's no need to load giant files into memory,
create huge arrays, etc and the code would be easy enough for a 6th grader
to follow. My proposed method doesn't sound very efficient to me, but it
should consume predictable resources which don't increase with file size.

How do you guys deal with large XML files? Thanks,


<rant>Why the heck does the XML spec require a root element,
particularly since large files usually consist of a large number of
records/documents? This makes it absolutely impossible to process a file of
any size without resorting to SAX or string parsing -- which takes away
many of the advantages you'd normally have with an XML structure. </rant>

Kyle Banerjee
Digital Services Program Manager
Orbis Cascade Alliance
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