Parser Possibilities: Why Write A Markup Parser
Norman Earl Smith
SAIC Technical Fellow and Assistant VP of Technology
Science Applications International Corp.
In the early days of XML, there seemed to be a new XML parser just about every week. This was in stark contrast to SGML where there might be half a dozen working parsers ever written. As XML matured and SAX became the first defacto XML parser API, the new parser stream pretty much slowed to a trickle. Once robust XML parsers, such as Expat, became widely available, there seemed little reason left to write you own parser. Expat is robust, fast, and still provides the XML under pinnings for many programming languages.
I believe there remain many valid reasons for writing your own markup language parser. This paper identifies reasons you might want to write a custom parser and examines the choices I made writing mlParser.