CSCI 7818

Web Infrastructure, Services, and Applications

Topics in Software Engineering

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   ECOT 831

Course Time
   9:00 AM - 11:50 AM

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Parsing an XML Document

This assignment asks you to parse a large XML document with an XML parser in order to answer a set of questions about the document. Please answer the following questions. Send your answers to <> before Lecture 3. Your answers can be in one of the following formats: ASCII, Postscript, or PDF.

These questions concern the following two documents:


theBigOne.xml is a 26 MB xml document that makes use of the document type definition contained in chimera.dtd. I have placed these files in my public ftp directory, in case you would like to download these files to your local machine. I have also made them world readable, so you can access them directly, rather than copying them to your personal unix account. To access my public ftp directory, use the following information

Directory: /users/kena/


  1. Examine the document type definition in chimera.dtd and draw a tree diagram showing the containment relationships between the elements that it defines. Based on the comments contained in chimera.dtd, is it possible to describe the purpose of this document type definition at an abstract level? If so, provide a description. If not, explain why there is not enough information to come to a conclusion.

  2. Parse theBigOne.xml with an XML parser to answer the following questions.

    How many vov elements are contained in this document?
    How many hyperweb elements?
    How many website elements?
    How many viewer elements?
    How many object elements?
    How many view elements?
    How many anchor elements?
    How many link elements?

    Note: You must use an XML parser to answer these not use, e.g. grep or a text editor to manually count the elements!

  3. Since you could use any XML parser to answer question 2 above, did your first choice succeed in parsing the document? If not, what was the problem and what did you do?

© Ken Anderson, 2001.
Last Updated: 9/7/01; 3:30:11 PM