What are the most common XML read/write operations?

Hi,

I've been using 'flat' text files as data files. I'm considering changing to XML data files. I've had a look at some XML info on the Net and there seems to be a lot more than one way to 'skin the cat'.

So, I'd like to ask what the most common ways are to read, write and do any other useful stuff are.

* Efficiency is irrelevant due to the small size of the files I'm using.
* I'm using VB.NET Express Edition, if that makes any difference.

Here's the simplest case that I'll be working with:

*********************************************
[TIME]
TimeEstimated: 5.25 TimeEarliest: 4.25 TimeLatest: 6.0 Intel: 2


[WEATHER]
TypeEstimated: 3  TypeBest: 1  TypeWorst: 4  HeightEstimated: 7 HeightLowest: 5 HeightHighest: 15  Intel: 3

*********************************************

I figure that as an XML file it might end up like this (fow stands for Fog Of War, the name of the - randomisation - utility, and the also the name of the main parameters data file):

*********************************************

  <?xml version="1.0" ?>
- <fow>
- <time>
  <timeEstimated>5.25</timeEstimated>
  <timeEarliest>4.25</timeEarliest>
  <timeLatest>6.0</timeLatest>
  <timeIntel>2</timeIntel>
  </time>
- <weather>
  <typeEstimated>3</typeEstimated>
  <typeBest>1</typeBest>
  <typeWorst>4</typeWorst>
  <heightEstimated>7</heightEstimated>
  <heightLowest>5</heightLowest>
  <heightHighest>15</heightHighest>
  <weatherIntel>3</weatherIntel>
  </weather>
  </fow>

*********************************************

* Are Attributes often used in the 'real world'? I read on W3C.com that it may be preferable (at least in theory) to only use attributes for ID tags.
* Is there an 'XML editor' that will put in closing tags as you go, when making an XML file by hand (for example for testing).
* I understand that an XML schema is a must-do. Is there a control in VB.NET Express (or elsewhere) that makes this easier (e.g. via a Wizard)?

This is a new area for me, so your help is especially appreciated.  :--)
Flying-KiwiAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Bob LearnedCommented:
1) Does VB.NET Express have an "Add New Item" type of XML document?  If so, then you should have an XML editor.  I have the Professional edition, which has the XML editor.

2) This is one way that you could do the XML:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<fow>
  <time estimated="5.25" earliest="4.25" latest="6.0" intel="2" />
  <weather>
    <type estimated="3" best="1" worst="4" />
    <height estimated="7" lowest="5" highest="15" />
  <intel>3</intel>
  </weather>
</fow>

Bob
0
 
Flying-KiwiAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately there's no XML editor on VB.NET Express.

Okay, so using attributes would be okay. Thx for laying out the example XML.

May I ask what the 'normal' code is for reading and writing XML files in VB.NET?
0
 
Flying-KiwiAuthor Commented:
Thx for giving the example. I'm still trying to work out the best XML classes and associated code to use.
0
 
Bob LearnedCommented:
Example:

Dim doc As New XmlDocument
doc.Load("c:\temp\test.xml")

Dim node As XmlNode = doc.SelectSingleNode("//time")

Bob
0
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