XML Parsing: remove hash references of empty hashes

myvach used Ask the Experts™

I use the XML::LibXML::Simple perl module to parse xml documents. now if an element is empty, i get a hash reference back instead of a preferred empty string. How can I avoid this as it writes me the hash reference to the database instead of a ''?

The old XML::Simple module has a parameter "SuppressEmpty" to achieve this, but unfortunately this parameter is not supported by xmllib
The ref containing the obsolete hash reference if the element is empty: $member->{district}->{value}->{string}
----------------SAMPLE XML SOURCE WITH AN EMPTY TAG 'DISTRICT'-------------

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quote from perl doc for XML::LibXML::Simple ...

"Also, empty elements are not removed: being empty has a meaning which should not be ignored"

You wont be able to ignore empty elements with this module.
your're right, but how can i avoid to have a hash reference written in my database? i've found a workaround yet:

unless( ref($member->{district}->{value}->{string}) ) { $district = $member->{district}->{value}->{string} };

but maybe there is a smarter way without the need to check each variable if it's a reference?


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