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From "Wynne Rees" <wr...@etlsolutions.com>
Subject Re: Using XML to create Java objects
Date Thu, 31 Oct 2002 09:23:34 GMT
Hello Matt

This is interesting stuff and we are working in the area and like you have
written a transformer which can work between XML and Java among other data
structures. I would vote for carrying on with the project. Have you looked
at using the XMI / UML modelling approach to define your XML bindings of
Java classes ? It looks as though this may be the adopted route in the long


Wynne Rees

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matt Pickering" <mp_sk8r@yahoo.com>
To: <general@xml.apache.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 5:37 AM
Subject: Using XML to create Java objects

> Hello all,
> I use XML on a daily basis in my day job and recently
> I've started work on some gaming projects that use XML
> to store configuration and game data.  One of the most
> tedious tasks I've had to deal with in both realms is
> the parsing of XML in order to create Java objects,
> both simple and complex.
> I know libraries and tools exist to do this, but they
> all have one major drawback: they require me to write
> code to describe the objects I want to create and map
> the XML to them.
> I've written an engine that allows me to express
> simple and composite Java objects as XML and have Java
> objects come out without any work on my part other
> than providing a listener to capture the objects as
> they are created.
> The engine uses Java Reflection to construct objects
> and call methods.  Methods can accept simple
> parameters or other objects, which can also be
> expressed as nested XML.
> The XML markup has to follow a few simple rules and a
> mechanism is provided to allow the user to define
> constants that can substitute one value for another as
> well as define the tags that map to various objects.
> Here is a simple example of some XML markup that
> creates a Java Properties object:
> <properties>
>     <twgp:alchemy
> xmlns:twgp="http://www.wargameproject.org/transmuteml">
>         <twgp:mapping parentTag="*" tag="myprops"
> class="java.util.Properties"/>
>     </twgp:alchemy>
>     <myprops>
>         <property key="prop1" value="value1"/>
>         <property key="prop2" value="value2"/>
>         <!-- Since Properties is a subclass of
> Hashtable, the following shows
>         we can also call put() instead of
> setProperty(). -->
>         <put key="prop3" value="value3"/>
>     </myprops>
> </properties>
> I've been using this engine to built game
> configuration files as well as to build config files
> for some rules-based code I use in my day job.
> My question to the list is this: Would there be any
> interest to the community at large in such an engine?
> I was planning to release the engine along with the
> gaming code, but it is being maintained as a separate
> codebase.  I am willing to break the engine out and
> maintain it as a separate project if there is
> sufficient interest.
> The engine is general purpose but is scoped for
> applications that use XML as configuration data but
> don't want the hassle of having to parse the XML to
> suit differing requirements.  It is not a
> serialization mechanism (although I plan to add a
> converter to take instantiated objects and dump out
> compatible XML markup).  It certainly isn't a "be-all,
> end-all" solution to the problem of XML-Java
> conversion, but can address a decent amount of the
> problems that an average developer may face in using
> XML and Java.
> If anyone would like to know more, please reply to the
> list or me directly.  If this ins't the appropriate
> forum for this, I do apologize and I will repost this
> to the Jakarta list and take my chances there.
> Matt Pickering
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