SimpleXML and Reading CDATA Tags

Wednesday, January 30. 2008

While using PHP5, almost everyone knows that SimpleXML is the easiest class to utilize when absorbing data from an XML source (be it XML, Atom, RSS, etc...). But, there are instances where things aren't as smooth as one would hope. I was reading in some RSS feeds from WeatherBug the other day, and was all fine and dandy, until I came to an annoying little snippet of code within the feed.

When I got to that data, SimpleXML couldn't retrieve it. When I did a dump of the entire feed, SimpleXML expressed the description tags as being empty. how the heck can we get at it?

It's much simpler than one would expect. You forcibly convert the value of that field to a string. That's it.

The annoyingly difficult thing about this, is that I knew I wouldn't be able to figure it out on my own, and the PHP docs didn't help with that one. I went to Google, and that took a few tricky searches to find what I needed too!

Source: Using SimpleXML to Parse RSS Feeds

Tip: That link also shows how to traverse different namespaces, just in case your RSS or XML sources use namespaces, which the last time that happened I used a DOMDocument object, which was a little more work than necessary. I wish I knew this back then!


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