[xml] Thanks for excellent software

Just wanted to share my experience and say thanks for the excellent software.

Many years ago I picked up the libxml1 software when my company was evaluating ways of being able to parse xml. I did the compil and install and a mini proof of concept. Worked great, and I told the powers that be that it would take me 2 weeks to have a fully functional integrated parser and writer. However, the people running the software department did not go that way. The public reason was that they were queasy about using "free un-supported" software. I suspect it was really the "not invented here" syndrome.

So the company wrote their own. They must have 6 man-months into it over the past few years. Of course it is slow and not fully functional. Every time some did something more advanced it launched more programming -- a never ending cycle. Also, it has been buggy as can be.

So then they decided that java was the hot way to go. Six more man-months integrating to that, and it is REALLY slow. And difficult to interface to as our main product is in 'C' Not a natural fit to say the least.

So management got fed up and asked me if my 2 week estimate was still accurate. I said yes. I loaded libxml2 software and went to town. It took less than two weeks to integrate to our software. It has every feature they wanted and then some in my interface (my interface has more features than their java one and the one they wrote). It handles all the complex xml they have thrown at it (unlike the home-grown one). And it is FAST (20 times faster than the java version and 5 times faster than the home-grown one).

The reason for this email is to really congratulate the people that wrote this software. I am on AIX (IBM rs6000). I needed no help at all beyond the supplied documentation and web site. Everything works as documented. The interfaces are easy to understand and implement.

My background is 20+ years 'C' programming experience and almost no xml experience. One of the easiest packages to integrate I have ever found -- even for the xml ignorant. The code is very readable and well structured and written, making anything not completely documented in text easy to find in the source.

I would suggest a few changes to the "Makefile" -- for some reason mine was compiling everything with the "-g" option. This is a debug option that makes the code slow and large. I changed that to "-O2" for the level 2 optimization (level 3 did cause some problems but I have seen no code including my own that works with level 3). I also added "-qarch=com" This is what is known as "common mode" and if compiled this way the result will run on ANY rs6000 hardware architecture and ANY version of AIX -- so long as they are equal or later than the machine compiled on (e.g. I compiled on a single processor running 4.3.3 and it works on multi-processors on 5.x just fine). This should at least be an option (it is a hair slower in theory, I have not found it so in practice).

Depending on your application -qfuncsect may also make sense. This makes the linking at the function level rather than object file level -- takes longer, smaller code.

Anyway - thank you so much for a great product and an amazing job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eric S. Eberhard
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