libexpat XML SAX parser binding for node.js
JavaScript C++ Shell
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.




You use node.js for speed? You process XML streams? Then you want the fastest XML parser: libexpat!


A stupid speed test is supplied in bench.js. We measure how many 25-byte elements a SAX parser can process:

  • node-xml (pure JavaScript): 23,000 el/s
  • libxmljs (libxml2 binding): 77,000 el/s
  • node-expat (libexpat binding, this): 113,000 el/s

These numbers were recorded on a Core 2 2400 MHz and may turn out to be bullshit, given my few node.js experience.


node-waf configure
node-waf build

For using the library, make sure build/default/expat.node is in either $NODE_PATH or require.paths.

So far, three events are emitted by a parser:

  • startElement with name, attrs
  • endElement with name
  • text with string

Use test.js for reference.

Error handling

We don't emit an error event because libexpat doesn't use a callback either. Instead, check that parse() returns true. A descriptive string can be obtained via getError() to provide user feedback.

Namespace handling

A word about special parsing of xmlns: this is not neccessary in a bare SAX parser like this, given that the DOM replacement you are using (if any) is not relevant to the parser.