A Collection of Isabelle Programming Hacks
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fxp - The Functional XML Parser
Version 2.0, 25.06.2004

Andreas Neumann, University of Trier
neumann (AT) psi.uni-trier.de
Alexandru Berlea, TU Munich
berlea (AT) in.tum.de

What is fxp?
fxp is a validating XML parser, written completely in the functional
programming language SML. It has a programming interface
allowing for production of XML applications based on fxp. It comes with
some example applications:

fxp The pure parser. It parses a document and finds well-formedness
errors, validity errors and other problems;

fxcanon Produces an equivalent canonical XML document. Canonical XML was
invented by James Clark for testing XML parsers. It contains only
the information a processor is required to pass to the application;

fxcopy Reproduces the document parsed by fxp. The copy can be generated
in a different encoding than the input, and can be normalized in
different ways concerning, e.g., expansion of entity references;

fxesis Produces an output similar to nsgmls's ESIS (Element Structure
Information Set) output;

fxviz An XML tree visualizer. It produces a graph description suitable as
input to Georg Sander's vcg.



In order to install fxp, you need an SML compiler. It has been tested with
version 110.0.7 of SML of New Jersey, but it might also run with other
versions. The compiler must have the compilation manager (CM) built in, which
is the default when installing SML-NJ. We successfully compiled fxp on
Linux. For other unices we expect no problems. An installation using the
Windows version of SML-NJ is documented on fxp's homepage.

These are the steps for installing fxp under Unix:

1. Download the latest version of fxp;
2. Unpack the sources, and change to the fxp directory, e.g.:

gunzip -c fxp-2.0.tar.gz | tar xf -
cd fxp-2.0

3. Read the COPYRIGHT;
4. Edit the Makefile according to your needs. Probably you will only have
to change the following:

INSTALL_PROGS is the list of programs to be installed. fxlib is only
required if you want to develop applications with fxp.

FXP_BINDIR is where the executables are installed;

FXP_LIBDIR is where other files needed by fxp - the heap images
and the library - are installed;

SML_BINDIR is the directory where the SML executables are found.
It must contain the .arch-n-opsys script from the
SML-NJ distribution, so make sure that this is where
SML-NJ is physically installed;

SML_EXEC is the name of the SML executable. This is the program
that is called for generating the heap image and at
execution of fxp. If sml is in your PATH at
installation time, you don't need the full path here.

SML_MAKEDEF is for defining the make command in SML. After version
110.0.3, SML-NJ changed the type of CM.make'.
For earlier or working versions of SML-NJ, use the
second or third variant of this definition.

5. Edit the file src/config.sml according to your needs. Currently only a
single value can be configured here:

val retrieveCommand : string

is the command to be used by fxp for retrieving a remote URI from
the internet and storing it in a temporary file on the local file
system. It is a string value and should contain the strings %1
and %2, where:

- %1 is replaced by the URI;
- %2 is replaced by the local filename.

It is recommended that the command exits with failure in case the
URI cannot be retrieved. If the command generates an HTML error
message instead (like, e.g., "lynx -source %1 > %2"), this HTML
file is considered to be XML and will probably cause a mess of
parsing errors. If you don't need URI retrieval, use "exit 1"
which always fails on Unix. Sensible values are, e.g:

- "wget -qO %2 %1"
- "got_it -o %2 %1"
- "urlget -s -o %2 %1"

6. Compile fxp by typing make;
7. Install fxp by typing make install.
8. If you want to use fxviz, you should also install vcg

If you experience problems installing fxp, send me mail at berlea (AT)
in.tum.de Check out for new versions at

Running the Parser
Sample applications like fxp (a validating XML parser), fxcanon, fxcopy,
fxesis, and fxviz are described on fxp's homepage.

Programming Interface
fxt's API is described in api.ps.

Alexandru Berlea