Make LibXML-Ruby's SAX parser a SAX push parser
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= LibXML Ruby

== Overview
The libxml gem provides Ruby language bindings for GNOME's Libxml2
XML toolkit. It is free software, released under the MIT License.

We think libxml-ruby is the best XML library for Ruby because:

* Speed - Its much faster than REXML and Hpricot
* Features - It provides an amazing number of featues
* Conformance - It passes all 1800+ tests from the OASIS XML Tests Suite

== Requirements
libxml-ruby requires Ruby 1.8.4 or higher.  It is dependent on 
the following libraries to function properly:

* libm      (math routines: very standard)
* libz      (zlib)
* libiconv
* libxml2

If you are running Linux or Unix you'll need a C compiler so the
extension can be compiled when it is installed.  If you are running
Windows, then install the Windows specific RubyGem which
includes an already built extension.

The easiest way to install libxml-ruby is via Ruby Gems.  To install:

<tt>gem install libxml-ruby</tt>

If you are running Windows, make sure to install the Win32 RubyGem
which includes an already built binary file.  The binary is built
against libxml2 version 2.7.2 and iconv version 1.11.  Both of these
are also included as pre-built binaries, and should be put either in
the libxml/lib directory or on the Windows path.  Due to a bug
in ruby-gems, you cannot install the gem to a path that contains
spaces (see

The Windows binaries are built with MingW and include libxml-ruby, 
libxml2 and iconv.  The gem also includes a Microsoft VC++ 2008
solution.  If you wish to run a debug version of libxml-ruby on
Windows, then it is highly recommended you use VC++.

== Getting Started
Using libxml is easy. First decide what parser you want to use.
Generally you'll want to use the LibXML::XML::Parser which provides a tree based API.
For larger documents that don't fit into memory, or if you prefer an input based API,
then use LibXML::XML::Reader. If you are parsing HTML files, then use LibXML::XML::HTMLParser.
Finally, if you are masochistic, then use the LibXML::XML::SaxParser, which provides a callback API.

Once you choose a parser, then choose a datasource and its
encoding.  Libxml can parse files, strings, URIs and IO stream.
For more information, see LibXML::XML::Input.

== Advanced Functionality
Beyond the basics of parsing and processing XML and HTML documents,
lLibxml provides a wealth of additional functionality.

Most commonly, you'll want to use its LibXML::XML::XPath support, which makes
it easy to search for data inside and XML document.  Although not as
popular, LibXML::XML::XPointer provides another API for finding data inside
an XML document.

Often times you'll need to validate data before processing it. For example,
if you accept user generated content submitted over the Web, you'll
want to first verify it does not contain malicious code such as embedded scripts.
This can be done using libxml's powerful set of validators:

* DTDs (LibXML::XML::Dtd)
* Relax Schemas (LibXML::XML::RelaxNG)
* XML Schema (LibXML::XML::Schema)

Finally, if you'd like to use XSL Transformations to process data,
then also install the libxslt gem which is available at

== Usage
For in-depth information about using libxml-ruby please refer
to its online Rdoc documentation.

All libxml classes are in the LibXML::XML module. The easiest
way to use libxml is to require 'xml'.  This will mixin
the LibXML module into the global namespace, allowing you to
write code like this:

  require 'xml'
  document =

However, when creating an application or library you plan to
redistribute, it is best to not add the LibXML module to the global
namespace, in which case you can either write your code like this:

  require 'libxml'
  document =

or, more conveniently, utilize a proper namespace for you own work
and include LibXML into it. For example:

  require 'libxml'

  mdoule MyApplication
    include LibXML

    class MyClass
      def some_method
        document =

For simplicity's sake, the documentation uses the xml module in its examples.

== Performance
In addition to being feature rich and conformation, the main reason
people use libxml-ruby is for performance.  Here are the results 
of a couple simple benchmarks recently blogged about on the
Web (you can find them in the benchmark directory of the 
libxml distribution).


               user     system      total        real
 libxml    0.032000   0.000000   0.032000 (  0.031000)
 Hpricot   0.640000   0.031000   0.671000 (  0.890000)
 REXML     1.813000   0.047000   1.860000 (  2.031000)


               user     system      total        real
 libxml    0.641000   0.031000   0.672000 (  0.672000)
 hpricot   5.359000   0.062000   5.421000 (  5.516000)
 rexml    22.859000   0.047000  22.906000 ( 23.203000) 

For more information please refer to the documentation.

RDoc comments are included - run 'rake doc' to generate documentation.
You can find the latest documentation at:


If you have any questions, please send email to

== License
See LICENSE for license information.