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data.xml is a Clojure library for reading and writing XML data. This library is the successor to lazy-xml. data.xml has the following features:

  • Parses XML documents into Clojure data structures
  • Emits XML from Clojure data structures
  • No additional dependencies if using 1.6
  • Uses StAX internally
  • lazy - should allow parsing and emitting of large XML documents

JDK 1.5

This library uses the pull parser that ships with JDK 1.6. If you running on JDK 1.6+, you do not need any additional dependencies. If you are using JDK 1.5, you will need to include a dependency on StAX. More information on this is available here


Please report bugs using JIRA here.


Latest stable release: 0.0.7


For Maven projects, add the following XML in your pom.xml's <dependencies> section:



Add the following to the project.clj dependencies:

[org.clojure/data.xml "0.0.7"]


The examples below assume you have added a use for data.xml:

(use '

data.xml supports parsing and emitting XML. The parsing functions will read XML from a Reader or InputStream.

(let [input-xml ( "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>
                                        <foo><bar><baz>The baz value</baz></bar></foo>")]
  (parse input-xml)){:tag :foo,
                          :attrs {},
                          :content ({:tag :bar, 
                                                              :attrs {},
                                                              :content ({:tag :baz,
                                                                                                  :attrs {},
                                                                                                  :content ("The baz value")})})}

The data is returned as defrecords and can be manipulated using the normal clojure data structure functions. Additional parsing options can be passed via key pairs:

(parse-str "<a><![CDATA[\nfoo bar\n]]><![CDATA[\nbaz\n]]></a>" :coalescing false){:tag :a, :attrs {}, :content ("\nfoo bar\n" "\nbaz\n")}

XML elements can be created using the typical defrecord constructor functions or the element function used below, and written using a

(let [tags (element :foo {:foo-attr "foo value"}
             (element :bar {:bar-attr "bar value"}
               (element :baz {} "The baz value")))]
  (with-open [out-file ( "/tmp/foo.xml")]
    (emit tags out-file)))

;;-> Writes XML to /tmp/foo.xml

The same can also be expressed using a more Hiccup-like style of defining the elements using sexp-as-element:

(= (element :foo {:foo-attr "foo value"}
     (element :bar {:bar-attr "bar value"}
       (element :baz {} "The baz value")))
      [:foo {:foo-attr "foo value"}
       [:bar {:bar-attr "bar value"}
        [:baz {} "The baz value"]]]))
;;-> true

Comments and CDATA can also be emitted as an S-expression with the special tag names :-cdata and :-comment:

(= (element :tag {:attr "value"}
     (element :body {} (cdata "not parsed <stuff")))
   (sexp-as-element [:tag {:attr "value"} [:body {} [:-cdata "not parsed <stuff"]]]
;;-> true       

XML can be "round tripped" through the library:

(let [tags (element :foo {:foo-attr "foo value"}
             (element :bar {:bar-attr "bar value"}
               (element :baz {} "The baz value")))]
  (with-open [out-file ( "/tmp/foo.xml")]
    (emit tags out-file))
  (with-open [input ( "/tmp/foo.xml")]
    (parse input))){:tag :foo, :attrs {:foo-attr "foo value"}...}

There are also some string based functions that are useful for debugging.

(let [tags (element :foo {:foo-attr "foo value"}
             (element :bar {:bar-attr "bar value"}
               (element :baz {} "The baz value")))]
  (= tags (parse-str (emit-str tags))))


Indentation is supported, but should be treated as a debugging feature as it's likely to be pretty slow:

(print (indent-str (element :foo {:foo-attr "foo value"}
                     (element :bar {:bar-attr "bar value"}
                       (element :baz {} "The baz value1")
                       (element :baz {} "The baz value2")
                       (element :baz {} "The baz value3")))))

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<foo foo-attr="foo value">
  <bar bar-attr="bar value">
    <baz>The baz value1</baz>
    <baz>The baz value2</baz>
    <baz>The baz value3</baz>

CDATA can be emitted:

(emit-str (element :foo {}
            (cdata "<non><escaped><info><here>")))

"<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?><foo><![CDATA[<non><escaped><info><here>]]></foo>"

But will be read as regular character data:

(parse-str (emit-str (element :foo {}
             (cdata "<non><escaped><info><here>")))){:tag :foo, :attrs {}, :content ("<non><escaped><info><here>")}

Comments can also be emitted:

(emit-str (element :foo {}
            (xml-comment "Just a <comment> goes here")
            (element :bar {} "and another element")))

"<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?><foo><!--Just a <comment> goes here--><bar>and another element</bar></foo>"

But are ignored when read:

    (emit-str (element :foo {}
                (xml-comment "Just a <comment> goes here")
                (element :bar {} "and another element")))))

"<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?><foo><bar>and another element</bar></foo>"    

Generated API docs for data.xml are available here.


Licensed under the Eclipse Public License.

Developer Information


All contributions need to be made via patches attached to tickets in JIRA. Check the Contributing to Clojure page for more information.