Parsing dynamic external XML file using PHP 4

Posted on 2009-04-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hey Everybody,

PHP Version: 4.4.3

I'm having trouble Loading in a Dynamic, External XML File. I'm trying to work on a Weather widget for my website using a XML file that Yahoo! Weather provides.

The URL to the dynamic XML can be found here:

In the code view, I posted an example of the XML that is pulled back. I need to be able to load in the XML, and need to get to each attribute.

I built something on my local machine using SimpleXML, then realized my local machine is running PHP 5.

I need to basically need to be able to pull out each variable and use them however I please, but I can't seem to find any tutorials or even example in PHP4.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>

<rss xmlns:yweather="" xmlns:geo="" version="2.0">


		<title>Yahoo! Weather - Dayton, OH</title>


		<description>Yahoo! Weather for Dayton, OH</description>


		<lastBuildDate>Wed, 08 Apr 2009 12:56 pm EDT</lastBuildDate>


		<yweather:location city="Dayton" region="OH" country="US"/>

		<yweather:units temperature="F" distance="mi" pressure="in" speed="mph"/>

		<yweather:wind chill="43" direction="270" speed="17"/>

		<yweather:atmosphere humidity="36" visibility="10" pressure="29.74" rising="2"/>

		<yweather:astronomy sunrise="7:09 am" sunset="8:08 pm"/>


			<title>Yahoo! Weather</title>







			<title>Conditions for Dayton, OH at 12:56 pm EDT</title>




			<pubDate>Wed, 08 Apr 2009 12:56 pm EDT</pubDate>

			<yweather:condition text="Partly Cloudy" code="30" temp="49" date="Wed, 08 Apr 2009 12:56 pm EDT"/>


				<![CDATA[<img src=""/><br />

					<b>Current Conditions:</b><br />

					Partly Cloudy, 49 F<BR />

					<BR /><b>Forecast:</b><BR />

					Wed - Partly Cloudy. High: 54 Low: 34<br />

					Thu - Mostly Sunny. High: 61 Low: 45<br />

					<br />

					<a href="*">Full Forecast at Yahoo! Weather</a><BR/>

					(provided by The Weather Channel)<br/>]]>


			<yweather:forecast day="Wed" date="8 Apr 2009" low="34" high="54" text="Partly Cloudy" code="30"/>

			<yweather:forecast day="Thu" date="9 Apr 2009" low="45" high="61" text="Mostly Sunny" code="34"/>

			<guid isPermaLink="false">USOH0245_2009_04_08_12_56_EDT</guid>




<!-- uncompressed Wed Apr  8 10:54:56 PDT 2009 -->

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Question by:BGHTechGuru
  • 2

Assisted Solution

by:Thomas Wheeler
Thomas Wheeler earned 20 total points
Comment Utility
you should use something like this rss_reader class

class RSS_reader {

        public $title = false;

        public $date = false;

        public $link = false;

        public $description = false;

        public $titletext = null;

        public $linktext = null;

        public $desctext = null;

        public $strdate = null;

   public $xmlParser = null;

        public $fp = null;

        public $feed = null;

        public $cnt = 0;

        public $tmp = null;

  // function: startElement

  // Deals with the starting element

  function startElement( $parser, $tagName, $attrs ) {

    // By setting global variable of tag name

    // I can determine which tag I am currently

    // parsing.

    switch( $tagName ) {

      case 'TITLE':

        $this->title = true;


      case 'LINK':

        $this->link = true;


      case 'DESCRIPTION':

        $this->description = true;


       case 'DC:DATE':

        $this->date = true;




  function endElement( $parser, $tagName ) {

    switch( $tagName ) {

                case 'DC:DATE':

                                $this->tmp[0] = $this->strdate;

                        $this->date = false;

                        $this->strdate = "";


      case 'TITLE':

                        $this->tmp[1] = $this->titletext;

        $this->title = false;

        $this->titletext = "";


      case 'LINK':

                        $this->tmp[2] = $this->linktext;

        $this->link = false;

        $this->linktext = "";


      case 'DESCRIPTION':

                        $this->tmp[3] = $this->desctext;

        $this->description = false;

        $this->desctext = "";

        //Create feed Array//

                $this->feed[$this->cnt] = $this->tmp;

                $this->tmp = null;

                  //Increment counter//





  function charElement( $parser, $text ) {

            if( $this->title == true ) {

                $this->titletext .= htmlspecialchars( trim($text) );

            } else if( $this->link == true ) {

                $this->linktext  .= trim( $text );

            } else if( $this->description == true ) {

                $this->desctext .= htmlspecialchars( trim( $text ) );

            } else if( $this->date == true ){

                $this->strdate .= trim( $text );



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Author Comment

Comment Utility
From what I'm seeing, this would get the main nodes, but how would I pull out the attributes?

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong though, can you show me an example?

Accepted Solution

BGHTechGuru earned 0 total points
Comment Utility
Actually, I found a solution a little bit ago.

I used this script from Whoooop:

Here is the code that worked:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">

<html xmlns="">


<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />

<title>Weather Widget</title>




function GetXMLTree ($xmldata)


	// we want to know if an error occurs

	ini_set ('track_errors', '1');

	$xmlreaderror = false;

	$parser = xml_parser_create ('ISO-8859-1');

	xml_parser_set_option ($parser, XML_OPTION_SKIP_WHITE, 1);

	xml_parser_set_option ($parser, XML_OPTION_CASE_FOLDING, 0);

	if (!xml_parse_into_struct ($parser, $xmldata, $vals, $index)) {

		$xmlreaderror = true;

		echo "error";


	xml_parser_free ($parser);

	if (!$xmlreaderror) {

		$result = array ();

		$i = 0;

		if (isset ($vals [$i]['attributes']))

			foreach (array_keys ($vals [$i]['attributes']) as $attkey)

			$attributes [$attkey] = $vals [$i]['attributes'][$attkey];

		$result [$vals [$i]['tag']] = array_merge ($attributes, GetChildren ($vals, $i, 'open'));


	ini_set ('track_errors', '0');

	return $result;


function GetChildren ($vals, &$i, $type)


	if ($type == 'complete') {

		if (isset ($vals [$i]['value']))

			return ($vals [$i]['value']);


			return '';


	$children = array (); // Contains node data

	/* Loop through children */

	while ($vals [++$i]['type'] != 'close') {

		$type = $vals [$i]['type'];

		// first check if we already have one and need to create an array

		if (isset ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']])) {

			if (is_array ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']])) {

				$temp = array_keys ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']]);

				// there is one of these things already and it is itself an array

				if (is_string ($temp [0])) {

					$a = $children [$vals [$i]['tag']];

					unset ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']]);

					$children [$vals [$i]['tag']][0] = $a;


			} else {

				$a = $children [$vals [$i]['tag']];

				unset ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']]);

				$children [$vals [$i]['tag']][0] = $a;


			$children [$vals [$i]['tag']][] = GetChildren ($vals, $i, $type);

		} else

			$children [$vals [$i]['tag']] = GetChildren ($vals, $i, $type);

		// I don't think I need attributes but this is how I would do them:

		if (isset ($vals [$i]['attributes'])) {

			$attributes = array ();

			foreach (array_keys ($vals [$i]['attributes']) as $attkey)

			$attributes [$attkey] = $vals [$i]['attributes'][$attkey];

			// now check: do we already have an array or a value?

			if (isset ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']])) {

				// case where there is an attribute but no value, a complete with an attribute in other words

				if ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']] == '') {

					unset ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']]);

					$children [$vals [$i]['tag']] = $attributes;


				// case where there is an array of identical items with attributes

				elseif (is_array ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']])) {

					$index = count ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']]) - 1;

					// probably also have to check here whether the individual item is also an array or not or what... all a bit messy

					if ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']][$index] == '') {

						unset ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']][$index]);

						$children [$vals [$i]['tag']][$index] = $attributes;


					$children [$vals [$i]['tag']][$index] = array_merge ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']][$index], $attributes);

				} else {

					$value = $children [$vals [$i]['tag']];

					unset ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']]);

					$children [$vals [$i]['tag']]['value'] = $value;

					$children [$vals [$i]['tag']] = array_merge ($children [$vals [$i]['tag']], $attributes);


			} else

				$children [$vals [$i]['tag']] = $attributes;



	return $children;


$url = ""; //URL of the XML FEED

$contents = file_get_contents($url);

$data = GetXMLTree ($contents);

$strWeather_Text = $data["rss"]["channel"]["item"]["yweather:condition"]["text"];

$strWeather_Code = $data["rss"]["channel"]["item"]["yweather:condition"]["code"];

$strWeather_Temp = $data["rss"]["channel"]["item"]["yweather:condition"]["temp"];



	<div><? echo $strWeather_Temp; ?>&deg;F</div>

	<div><? echo $strWeather_Text; ?>.</div>


<div><img src="http://localhost/wapi/images/<? echo $strWeather_Code; ?>.jpg" /></div>



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