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More on JavaScript and XML

In this conclusion to a three-part series, you'll learn about serializing XML, expanding HTML templates with XML data, and more. This article is excerpted from chapter 21 of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, Fifth Edition, written by David Flanagan (O'Reilly; ISBN: 0596101996). Copyright 2006 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.

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By: O'Reilly Media
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August 16, 2007
  1. · More on JavaScript and XML
  2. · 21.6 Expanding HTML Templates with XML Data
  3. · 21.7 XML and Web Services
  4. · 21.8 E4X:ECMAScript for XML

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More on JavaScript and XML
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21.5 Serializing XML

It is sometimes useful to serialize an XML document (or some subelement of the document) by converting it to a string. One reason you might do this is to send an XML document as the body of an HTTP POST request generated with the XMLHttpRequest object. Another common reason to serialize XML documents and elements is for use in debugging messages!

In Mozilla-based browsers, serialization is done with an XMLSerializer object. In IE, it is even easier: the xml property of an XML Document or Element object returns the serialized form of the document or element.

Example 21-11 shows serialization code that works in Mozilla and IE.

Example 21-11. Serializing XML

* Serialize an XML Document or Element and return it as a string.
XML.serialize = function(node) {
    if (typeof XMLSerializer != "undefined")

        return (new XMLSerializer()).serializeToString(node) ;
    else if (node.xml) return node.xml;
    else throw "XML.serialize is not supported or can't serialize " + node;

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