AiS 23: XML Inside Out

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XML is not a religion. XML is a tool. A religion tells you what is right and what is wrong. A tool is only concerned with what is useful.

At the 2007 Dallas Code Camp, I presented 4 different XML parsing strategies currently available in .NET. XmlDocument is easy to use and supports input as well as output, but it loads the entire document into memory. XPathDocument is just as easy and slightly faster, but it is read-only. XmlSerializer is the easiest of all since it works with the .NET type system, but it tightly couples your data types with the schema and doesn't support all schemas. And XmlReader is the fastest and most powerful, but incredibly difficult to use.

I added a fifth strategy called DeclarativeXmlParser. This library wraps XmlReader with a dot-chained schema declaration that makes XmlReader dirt simple to use. This library and the demonstration code used in the presentation are available at

This presentation was inspired by work that I do at Handmark, and data provided by OAG. Additional information was found at Softartisans.

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