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06 Nov 2006 (Updated )

Read XML files into MATLAB struct and writes MATLAB data types to XML

xml_read(xmlfile, Pref)
function [tree, RootName, DOMnode] = xml_read(xmlfile, Pref)
%XML_READ reads xml files and converts them into Matlab's struct tree.
% tree = xml_read(xmlfile) reads 'xmlfile' into data structure 'tree'
% tree = xml_read(xmlfile, Pref) reads 'xmlfile' into data structure 'tree'
% according to your preferences
% [tree, RootName, DOMnode] = xml_read(xmlfile) get additional information
% about XML file
%  xmlfile	URL or filename of xml file to read
%  Pref     Preferences:
%    Pref.ItemName - default 'item' - name of a special tag used to itemize
%                    cell arrays
%    Pref.ReadAttr - default true - allow reading attributes
%    Pref.ReadSpec - default true - allow reading special nodes
%    Pref.Str2Num  - default 'smart' - convert strings that look like numbers
%                   to numbers. Options: "always", "never", and "smart"
%    Pref.KeepNS   - default true - keep or strip namespace info
%    Pref.NoCells  - default true - force output to have no cell arrays
%    Pref.Debug    - default false - show mode specific error messages
%    Pref.NumLevels- default infinity - how many recursive levels are
%      allowed. Can be used to speed up the function by prunning the tree.
%    Pref.RootOnly - default true - output variable 'tree' corresponds to
%      xml file root element, otherwise it correspond to the whole file.
%    Pref.CellItem - default 'true' - leave 'item' nodes in cell notation.
%  tree         tree of structs and/or cell arrays corresponding to xml file
%  RootName     XML tag name used for root (top level) node.
%               Optionally it can be a string cell array storing: Name of
%               root node, document "Processing Instructions" data and
%               document "comment" string
%  DOMnode      output of xmlread
% Function xml_read first calls MATLAB's xmlread function and than
% converts its output ('Document Object Model' tree of Java objects)
% to tree of MATLAB struct's. The output is in format of nested structs
% and cells. In the output data structure field names are based on
% XML tags, except in cases when tags produce illegal variable names.
% Several special xml node types result in special tags for fields of
% 'tree' nodes:
%  - node.CONTENT - stores data section of the node if other fields are
%    present. Usually data section is stored directly in 'node'.
%  - - stores node's attribute called 'name'.
%  - node.COMMENT - stores node's comment section (string). For global
%    comments see "RootName" output variable.
%  - node.CDATA_SECTION - stores node's CDATA section (string).
%  - node.PROCESSING_INSTRUCTIONS - stores "processing instruction" child
%    node. For global "processing instructions" see "RootName" output variable.
%  - other special node types like: document fragment nodes, document type
%   nodes, entity nodes, notation nodes and processing instruction nodes
%   will be treated like regular nodes
%   MyTree=[];
%   MyTree.MyNumber = 13;
%   MyTree.MyString = 'Hello World';
%   xml_write('test.xml', MyTree);
%   [tree treeName] = xml_read ('test.xml');
%   disp(treeName)
%   gen_object_display()
%   % See also xml_examples.m
% See also:
%   xml_write, xmlread, xmlwrite
% Written by Jarek Tuszynski, SAIC,
% References:
%  - Function inspired by Example 3 found in xmlread function.
%  - Output data structures inspired by xml_toolbox structures.

%% default preferences
DPref.TableName  = {'tr','td'}; % name of a special tags used to itemize 2D cell arrays
DPref.ItemName  = 'item'; % name of a special tag used to itemize 1D cell arrays
DPref.CellItem  = false;  % leave 'item' nodes in cell notation
DPref.ReadAttr  = true;   % allow reading attributes
DPref.ReadSpec  = true;   % allow reading special nodes: comments, CData, etc.
DPref.KeepNS    = true;   % Keep or strip namespace info
DPref.Str2Num   = 'smart';% convert strings that look like numbers to numbers
DPref.NoCells   = true;   % force output to have no cell arrays
DPref.NumLevels = 1e10;   % number of recurence levels
DPref.PreserveSpace = false; % Preserve or delete spaces at the beggining and the end of stings?
RootOnly        = true;   % return root node  with no top level special nodes
Debug           = false;  % show specific errors (true) or general (false)?
tree            = [];
RootName        = [];

%% Check Matlab Version
v = ver('MATLAB');
version = str2double(regexp(v.Version, '\d.\d','match','once'));
if (version<7.1)
  error('Your MATLAB version is too old. You need version 7.1 or newer.');

%% read user preferences
if (nargin>1)
  if (isfield(Pref, 'TableName')), DPref.TableName = Pref.TableName; end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'ItemName' )), DPref.ItemName  = Pref.ItemName;  end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'CellItem' )), DPref.CellItem  = Pref.CellItem;  end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'Str2Num'  )), DPref.Str2Num   = Pref.Str2Num ;  end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'NoCells'  )), DPref.NoCells   = Pref.NoCells ;  end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'NumLevels')), DPref.NumLevels = Pref.NumLevels; end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'ReadAttr' )), DPref.ReadAttr  = Pref.ReadAttr;  end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'ReadSpec' )), DPref.ReadSpec  = Pref.ReadSpec;  end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'KeepNS'   )), DPref.KeepNS    = Pref.KeepNS;    end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'RootOnly' )), RootOnly        = Pref.RootOnly;  end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'Debug'    )), Debug           = Pref.Debug   ;  end
  if (isfield(Pref, 'PreserveSpace')), DPref.PreserveSpace = Pref.PreserveSpace; end
if ischar(DPref.Str2Num), % convert from character description to numbers
  DPref.Str2Num = find(strcmpi(DPref.Str2Num, {'never', 'smart', 'always'}))-1;
  if isempty(DPref.Str2Num), DPref.Str2Num=1; end % 1-smart by default

%% read xml file using Matlab function
if isa(xmlfile, 'org.apache.xerces.dom.DeferredDocumentImpl');
  % if xmlfile is a DOMnode than skip the call to xmlread
      DOMnode = xmlfile;
    catch ME
      error('Invalid DOM node: \n%s.', getReport(ME));
  catch %#ok<CTCH> catch for mablab versions prior to 7.5
    error('Invalid DOM node. \n');
else         % we assume xmlfile is a filename
  if (Debug) % in debuging mode crashes are allowed
    DOMnode = xmlread(xmlfile);
  else       % in normal mode crashes are not allowed
        DOMnode = xmlread(xmlfile);
      catch ME
        error('Failed to read XML file %s: \n%s',xmlfile, getReport(ME));
    catch %#ok<CTCH> catch for mablab versions prior to 7.5
      error('Failed to read XML file %s\n',xmlfile);
Node = DOMnode.getFirstChild;

%% Find the Root node. Also store data from Global Comment and Processing
%  Instruction nodes, if any.
GlobalTextNodes = cell(1,3);
GlobalProcInst  = [];
GlobalComment   = [];
GlobalDocType   = [];
while (~isempty(Node))
  if (Node.getNodeType==Node.ELEMENT_NODE)
  elseif (Node.getNodeType==Node.PROCESSING_INSTRUCTION_NODE)
    data   = strtrim(char(Node.getData));
    target = strtrim(char(Node.getTarget));
    GlobalProcInst = [target, ' ', data];
    GlobalTextNodes{2} = GlobalProcInst;
  elseif (Node.getNodeType==Node.COMMENT_NODE)
    GlobalComment = strtrim(char(Node.getData));
    GlobalTextNodes{3} = GlobalComment;
    %   elseif (Node.getNodeType==Node.DOCUMENT_TYPE_NODE)
    %     GlobalTextNodes{4} = GlobalDocType;
  Node = Node.getNextSibling;

%% parse xml file through calls to recursive DOMnode2struct function
if (Debug)   % in debuging mode crashes are allowed
  [tree RootName] = DOMnode2struct(RootNode, DPref, 1);
else         % in normal mode crashes are not allowed
      [tree RootName] = DOMnode2struct(RootNode, DPref, 1);
    catch ME
      error('Unable to parse XML file %s: \n %s.',xmlfile, getReport(ME));
  catch %#ok<CTCH> catch for mablab versions prior to 7.5
    error('Unable to parse XML file %s.',xmlfile);

%% If there were any Global Text nodes than return them
if (~RootOnly)
  if (~isempty(GlobalProcInst) && DPref.ReadSpec)
  if (~isempty(GlobalComment) && DPref.ReadSpec)
    t.COMMENT = GlobalComment;
  if (~isempty(GlobalDocType) && DPref.ReadSpec)
    t.DOCUMENT_TYPE = GlobalDocType;
  t.(RootName) = tree;
if (~isempty(GlobalTextNodes))
  GlobalTextNodes{1} = RootName;
  RootName = GlobalTextNodes;

%% =======================================================================
%  === DOMnode2struct Function ===========================================
%  =======================================================================
function [s TagName LeafNode] = DOMnode2struct(node, Pref, level)

%% === Step 1: Get node name and check if it is a leaf node ==============
[TagName LeafNode] = NodeName(node, Pref.KeepNS);
s = []; % initialize output structure

%% === Step 2: Process Leaf Nodes (nodes with no children) ===============
if (LeafNode)
  if (LeafNode>1 && ~Pref.ReadSpec), LeafNode=-1; end % tags only so ignore special nodes
  if (LeafNode>0) % supported leaf node types
      try         % use try-catch: errors here are often due to VERY large fields (like images) that overflow java memory
        s = char(node.getData);
        if (isempty(s)), s = ' '; end                              % make it a string
        % for some reason current xmlread 'creates' a lot of empty text
        % fields with first chatacter=10 - those will be deleted.
        if (~Pref.PreserveSpace || s(1)==10) 
          if (isspace(s(1)) || isspace(s(end))), s = strtrim(s); end % trim speces is any
        if (LeafNode==1), s=str2var(s, Pref.Str2Num, 0); end       % convert to number(s) if needed
      catch ME    % catch for mablab versions 7.5 and higher
        warning('xml_io_tools:read:LeafRead', ...
          'This leaf node could not be read and was ignored. ');
    catch         %#ok<CTCH> catch for mablab versions prior to 7.5
      warning('xml_io_tools:read:LeafRead', ...
        'This leaf node could not be read and was ignored. ');
  if (LeafNode==3) % ProcessingInstructions need special treatment
    target = strtrim(char(node.getTarget));
    s = [target, ' ', s];
  return % We are done the rest of the function deals with nodes with children
if (level>Pref.NumLevels+1), return; end % if Pref.NumLevels is reached than we are done

%% === Step 3: Process nodes with children ===============================
if (node.hasChildNodes)        % children present
  Child  = node.getChildNodes; % create array of children nodes
  nChild = Child.getLength;    % number of children
  % --- pass 1: how many children with each name -----------------------
  f = [];
  for iChild = 1:nChild        % read in each child
    [cname cLeaf] = NodeName(Child.item(iChild-1), Pref.KeepNS);
    if (cLeaf<0), continue; end % unsupported leaf node types
    if (~isfield(f,cname)),
      f.(cname)=0;           % initialize first time I see this name
    f.(cname) = f.(cname)+1; % add to the counter
  end                        % end for iChild
  % text_nodes become CONTENT & for some reason current xmlread 'creates' a
  % lot of empty text fields so f.CONTENT value should not be trusted
  if (isfield(f,'CONTENT') && f.CONTENT>2), f.CONTENT=2; end
  % --- pass 2: store all the children as struct of cell arrays ----------
  for iChild = 1:nChild        % read in each child
    [c cname cLeaf] = DOMnode2struct(Child.item(iChild-1), Pref, level+1);
    if (cLeaf && isempty(c))   % if empty leaf node than skip
      continue;                % usually empty text node or one of unhandled node types
    elseif (nChild==1 && cLeaf==1)
      s=c;                     % shortcut for a common case
    else                       % if normal node
      if (level>Pref.NumLevels), continue; end
      n = f.(cname);           % how many of them in the array so far?
      if (~isfield(s,cname))   % encountered this name for the first time
        if (n==1)              % if there will be only one of them ...
          s.(cname) = c;       % than save it in format it came in
        else                   % if there will be many of them ...
          s.(cname) = cell(1,n);
          s.(cname){1} = c;    % than save as cell array
        f.(cname) = 1;         % initialize the counter
      else                     % already have seen this name
        s.(cname){n+1} = c;    % add to the array
        f.(cname) = n+1;       % add to the array counter
  end   % for iChild
end % end if (node.hasChildNodes)

%% === Step 4: Post-process struct's created for nodes with children =====
if (isstruct(s))
  fields = fieldnames(s);
  nField = length(fields);
  % Detect structure that looks like Html table and store it in cell Matrix
  if (nField==1 && strcmpi(fields{1},Pref.TableName{1}))
    tr = s.(Pref.TableName{1});
    fields2 = fieldnames(tr{1});
    if (length(fields2)==1 && strcmpi(fields2{1},Pref.TableName{2}))
      % This seems to be a special structure such that for 
      % Pref.TableName = {'tr','td'} 's' corresponds to 
      %    <tr> <td>M11</td> <td>M12</td> </tr>
      %    <tr> <td>M12</td> <td>M22</td> </tr>
      % Recognize it as encoding for 2D struct
      nr = length(tr);
      for r = 1:nr
        row = tr{r}.(Pref.TableName{2});
        Table(r,1:length(row)) = row; %#ok<AGROW>
      s = Table;

  % --- Post-processing: convert 'struct of cell-arrays' to 'array of structs'
  % Example: let say s has 3 fields s.a, s.b & s.c  and each field is an
  % cell-array with more than one cell-element and all 3 have the same length.
  % Then change it to array of structs, each with single cell.
  % This way element s.a{1} will be now accessed through s(1).a
  vec = zeros(size(fields));
  for i=1:nField, vec(i) = f.(fields{i}); end
  if (numel(vec)>1 && vec(1)>1 && var(vec)==0)  % convert from struct of
    s = cell2struct(struct2cell(s), fields, 1); % arrays to array of struct
  end % if anyone knows better way to do above conversion please let me know.


%% === Step 5: Process nodes with attributes =============================
if (node.hasAttributes && Pref.ReadAttr)
  if (~isstruct(s)),              % make into struct if is not already
  Attr  = node.getAttributes;     % list of all attributes
  for iAttr = 1:Attr.getLength    % for each attribute
    name  = char(Attr.item(iAttr-1).getName);  % attribute name
    name  = str2varName(name, Pref.KeepNS);    % fix name if needed
    value = char(Attr.item(iAttr-1).getValue); % attribute value
    value = str2var(value, Pref.Str2Num, 1);   % convert to number if possible
    s.ATTRIBUTE.(name) = value;   % save again
  end                             % end iAttr loop
end % done with attributes
if (~isstruct(s)), return; end %The rest of the code deals with struct's

%% === Post-processing: fields of "s"
% convert  'cell-array of structs' to 'arrays of structs'
fields = fieldnames(s);     % get field names
nField = length(fields);
for iItem=1:length(s)       % for each struct in the array - usually one
  for iField=1:length(fields)
    field = fields{iField}; % get field name
    % if this is an 'item' field and user want to leave those as cells
    % than skip this one
    if (strcmpi(field, Pref.ItemName) && Pref.CellItem), continue; end
    x = s(iItem).(field);
    if (iscell(x) && all(cellfun(@isstruct,x(:))) && numel(x)>1) % it's cell-array of structs
      % numel(x)>1 check is to keep 1 cell-arrays created when Pref.CellItem=1
      try                           % this operation fails sometimes
        % example: change s(1).a{1}.b='jack'; s(1).a{2}.b='john'; to
        % more convinient s(1).a(1).b='jack'; s(1).a(2).b='john';
        s(iItem).(field) = [x{:}]';  %#ok<AGROW> % converted to arrays of structs
      catch %#ok<CTCH>
        % above operation will fail if s(1).a{1} and s(1).a{2} have
        % different fields. If desired, function forceCell2Struct can force
        % them to the same field structure by adding empty fields.
        if (Pref.NoCells)
          s(iItem).(field) = forceCell2Struct(x); %#ok<AGROW>
      end % end catch

%% === Step 4: Post-process struct's created for nodes with children =====

% --- Post-processing: remove special 'item' tags ---------------------
% many xml writes (including xml_write) use a special keyword to mark
% arrays of nodes (see xml_write for examples). The code below converts
% s.item to s.CONTENT
ItemContent = false;
if (isfield(s,Pref.ItemName))
  s.CONTENT = s.(Pref.ItemName);
  s = rmfield(s,Pref.ItemName);
  ItemContent = Pref.CellItem; % if CellItem than keep s.CONTENT as cells

% --- Post-processing: clean up CONTENT tags ---------------------
% if s.CONTENT is a cell-array with empty elements at the end than trim
% the length of this cell-array. Also if s.CONTENT is the only field than
% remove .CONTENT part and store it as s.
if (isfield(s,'CONTENT'))
  if (iscell(s.CONTENT) && isvector(s.CONTENT))
    x = s.CONTENT;
    for i=numel(x):-1:1, if ~isempty(x{i}), break; end; end
    if (i==1 && ~ItemContent)
      s.CONTENT = x{1};   % delete cell structure
      s.CONTENT = x(1:i); % delete empty cells
  if (nField==1)
    if (ItemContent)
      ss = s.CONTENT;       % only child: remove a level but ensure output is a cell-array
      s=[]; s{1}=ss;
      s = s.CONTENT;        % only child: remove a level

%% =======================================================================
%  === forceCell2Struct Function =========================================
%  =======================================================================
function s = forceCell2Struct(x)
% Convert cell-array of structs, where not all of structs have the same
% fields, to a single array of structs

%% Convert 1D cell array of structs to 2D cell array, where each row
% represents item in original array and each column corresponds to a unique
% field name. Array "AllFields" store fieldnames for each column
AllFields = fieldnames(x{1});     % get field names of the first struct
CellMat = cell(length(x), length(AllFields));
for iItem=1:length(x)
  fields = fieldnames(x{iItem});  % get field names of the next struct
  for iField=1:length(fields)     % inspect all fieldnames and find those
    field = fields{iField};       % get field name
    col = find(strcmp(field,AllFields),1);
    if isempty(col)               % no column for such fieldname yet
      AllFields = [AllFields; field]; %#ok<AGROW>
      col = length(AllFields);    % create a new column for it
    CellMat{iItem,col} = x{iItem}.(field); % store rearanged data
%% Convert 2D cell array to array of structs
s = cell2struct(CellMat, AllFields, 2);

%% =======================================================================
%  === str2var Function ==================================================
%  =======================================================================
function val=str2var(str, option, attribute)
% Can this string 'str' be converted to a number? if so than do it.
val = str;
len = numel(str);
if (len==0    || option==0), return; end % Str2Num="never" of empty string -> do not do enything
if (len>10000 && option==1), return; end % Str2Num="smart" and string is very long -> probably base64 encoded binary
digits = '(Inf)|(NaN)|(pi)|[\t\n\d\+\-\*\.ei EI\[\]\;\,]';
s = regexprep(str, digits, ''); % remove all the digits and other allowed characters
if (~all(~isempty(s)))          % if nothing left than this is probably a number
  if (~isempty(strfind(str, ' '))), option=2; end %if str has white-spaces assume by default that it is not a date string
  if (~isempty(strfind(str, '['))), option=2; end % same with brackets
  str(strfind(str, '\n')) = ';';% parse data tables into 2D arrays, if any
  if (option==1)                % the 'smart' option
    try                         % try to convert to a date, like 2007-12-05
      datenum(str);             % if successful than leave it as string
    catch                       %#ok<CTCH> % if this is not a date than ...
      option=2;                 % ... try converting to a number
  if (option==2)
    if (attribute)
      num = str2double(str);      % try converting to a single number using sscanf function
      if isnan(num), return; end  % So, it wasn't really a number after all    
      num = str2num(str);         %#ok<ST2NM> % try converting to a single number or array using eval function
    if(isnumeric(num) && numel(num)>0), val=num; end % if convertion to a single was succesful than save
elseif ((str(1)=='[' && str(end)==']') || (str(1)=='{' && str(end)=='}')) % this looks like a (cell) array encoded as a string
    val = eval(str); 
  catch              %#ok<CTCH>
    val = str; 
elseif (~attribute)   % see if it is a boolean array with no [] brackets
  str1 = lower(str);
  str1 = strrep(str1, 'false', '0');
  str1 = strrep(str1, 'true' , '1');
  s = regexprep(str1, '[01 \;\,]', ''); % remove all 0/1, spaces, commas and semicolons 
  if (~all(~isempty(s)))          % if nothing left than this is probably a boolean array
    num  = str2num(str1); %#ok<ST2NM>
    if(isnumeric(num) && numel(num)>0), val = (num>0);  end % if convertion was succesful than save as logical

%% =======================================================================
%  === str2varName Function ==============================================
%  =======================================================================
function str = str2varName(str, KeepNS)
% convert a sting to a valid matlab variable name
  str = regexprep(str,':','_COLON_', 'once', 'ignorecase');
  k = strfind(str,':');
  if (~isempty(k))
    str = str(k+1:end);
str = regexprep(str,'-','_DASH_'  ,'once', 'ignorecase');
if (~isvarname(str)) && (~iskeyword(str))
  str = genvarname(str);

%% =======================================================================
%  === NodeName Function =================================================
%  =======================================================================
function [Name LeafNode] = NodeName(node, KeepNS)
% get node name and make sure it is a valid variable name in Matlab.
% also get node type:
%   LeafNode=0 - normal element node,
%   LeafNode=1 - text node
%   LeafNode=2 - supported non-text leaf node,
%   LeafNode=3 - supported processing instructions leaf node,
%   LeafNode=-1 - unsupported non-text leaf node
switch (node.getNodeType)
  case node.ELEMENT_NODE
    Name = char(node.getNodeName);% capture name of the node
    Name = str2varName(Name, KeepNS);     % if Name is not a good variable name - fix it
    LeafNode = 0;
  case node.TEXT_NODE
    Name = 'CONTENT';
    LeafNode = 1;
  case node.COMMENT_NODE
    Name = 'COMMENT';
    LeafNode = 2;
    Name = 'CDATA_SECTION';
    LeafNode = 2;
    Name = 'DOCUMENT_TYPE';
    LeafNode = 2;
    LeafNode = 3;
    Name = char(node.getNodeName);% capture name of the node
    warning('xml_io_tools:read:unkNode', ...
      'Unknown node type encountered: %s_NODE (%s)', NodeType{node.getNodeType}, Name);
    LeafNode = -1;

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