SimpleXML and Xpath problems solved

| geek

I’ve been working on a tool that looks for a list of people with a given tag and displays their names, titles, locations, e-mail addresses, and other tags. It’ll be useful for reviewing our list of experts. I didn’t want to hammer the Lotus Connections server with too many requests, though, so I added some delays between requests. I should also cache the results.

I was using PHP’s SimpleXML library to parse the search results, but my XPath queries didn’t return anything. It turns out that you need to str_replace(‘xmlns=’, ‘ns=’, …) before you parse it with SimpleXML. That solved the problem.

Also, the tagcloud document didn’t get parsed at all. I had to replace the app:categories tag with atom:feed and remove the atom: namespace to get everything to work.

On the bright side, I figured out how to interact with long-running PHP processes! I used Sqlite to store the requests and updates, then I used at to run the PHP process. Next step: Cache results, rig up a temporary file directory, and tidy up the interface. The batch process code is another useful building block that will help me write other programs.

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at