Field delimited data to XML


 
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# 1  
Old 11-10-2013
Field delimited data to XML

Hi,

We need to produce a XML file based on a record/field delimited data file. At this point we could just script something out but I would like to ask the community what would be the best choice of programming language to do this, in terms of performance of execution, and in terms of complexity of implementation.

We can do this using any method but Im looking for the best way of handling it.

Thanks.
# 2  
Old 11-26-2013
delimited by what?

Writing xml is easy, pick your favorite fast language. I like C.
# 3  
Old 11-27-2013
As usual the "best" way depends on what you want. Everyone says XML is easy but there's usually a few dozen "oh by the way" clauses that get tacked on since xml is so flexible and plastic.

Asking which is the 'best' language is more a religious discussion than anything.

So, input you have, output you want, please. Don't leave out anything important like "oh by the way the number of columns is variable".
# 4  
Old 11-27-2013
delimited implies delimiting characters? That argues toward awk or shell.
# 5  
Old 12-09-2013
All fields are delimited by a pipe character.

C/C++ should be fastest, however I was considering Perl or any variant given the data structure and the fact were on a Redhat machine.
# 6  
Old 12-09-2013
Again, how to do it depends on the output you want. XML is flexible enough for the answer to be anything from trivial to hellish, depending on your requirements.
# 7  
Old 12-10-2013
Ok Ill drop an example to illustrate the sort of data we would be looking after.
Code:
With each occurence of Record_key_1 identifying a new object, all subsequent records referring to that object until a new object is defined.

Sample input:
Record_key_1 | A | B | C |
Record_key_2 | 0 | 1 |
Record_key_2 | 2 | 3 |
Record_key_2 | 4| 5 |
Record_key_3 | a | b | c | d |
Record_key_3 | e | f | g | h |
Record_key_1 | D | E | F |
Record_key_2 | 6 | 7 |
Record_key_2 | 8 | 9 |
Record_key_3 | i | j | k | l |

= 2 objects total

Sample output:
<Object>
   <Object Properties>
      <Properties_1>A</Properties_1>
      <Properties_2>B</Properties_2>
      <Properties_3>C</Properties_3>
   </Object Properties>
   <Sub-object>
      <Sub-object characteristics_1>0</Sub-object characteristics_1>
      <Sub-object characteristics_2>1</Sub-object characteristics_2>
   </Sub-object>
   <Sub-object>
      <Sub-object characteristics_1>2</Sub-object characteristics_1>
      <Sub-object characteristics_2>3</Sub-object characteristics_2>
   </Sub-object>
   <Sub-object>
      <Sub-object characteristics_1>4</Sub-object characteristics_1>
      <Sub-object characteristics_2>5</Sub-object characteristics_2>
   </Sub-object>
   <Object user>
      <User details_1>a</User details_1>
      <User details_2>b</User details_2>
      <User details_3>c</User details_3>
      <User details_4>d</User details_4>
   </Object user>
   <Object user>
      <User details_1>e</User details_1>
      <User details_2>f</User details_2>
      <User details_3>g</User details_3>
      <User details_4>h</User details_4>
   </Object user>
</Object>

<Object>
   <Object Properties>
      <Properties_1>D</Properties_1>
      <Properties_2>E</Properties_2>
      <Properties_3>F</Properties_3>
   </Object Properties>
   <Sub-object>
      <Sub-object characteristics_1>6</Sub-object characteristics_1>
      <Sub-object characteristics_2>7</Sub-object characteristics_2>
   </Sub-object>
   <Sub-object>
      <Sub-object characteristics_1>8</Sub-object characteristics_1>
      <Sub-object characteristics_2>9</Sub-object characteristics_2>
   </Sub-object>
   <Object user>
      <User details_1>i</User details_1>
      <User details_2>j</User details_2>
      <User details_3>k</User details_3>
      <User details_4>l</User details_4>
   </Object user>
</Object>

Im wondering where to store the mapping configuration so it can be picked up by the program rather than relying on a large number of conditional statements based on the record key value and the field_ID to deduce the tags to use.

My initial approach was to break down the original input structure to form a file with one line per field comprising of the Record/Field ID and the value, then replace the Record/Field ID by it's corresponding XML tag and finally wrap it up all together. At this point awk should be able to deal with it. The question is how long it takes to process 100.000s of "objects".

About the comment on the fact picking a language comes down to personal preference, I mean I can not disagree with that but when you look at performance some languages will deal with this requirement faster than others. If it means I need to spend 0.5x more coding time to get there it's a price I can realistically pay for the benefits it gives us.
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