PHP 5/MySQL Programming- P63:computer programming has often been seen as a difficult and arcane skill. Programming languages are difficult and complicated, out of the typical person’s reach. However, the advent of the World Wide Web has changed that to some extent. It’s reasonably easy to build and post a Web page for the entire world to see. The language of the Web is reasonably simple, and numerous applications are available to assist in the preparation of static pages | 288 PHP 5 MySQL Programming for the Absolute Beginner Simplifying the Menu Pages The menu page isn t as complicated when all the data is stored in the XML pages. Each call to the system requires only one parameter the name of the XML file containing all the layout instructions. Here s the menu page after changing it to work with the XML files h3 Main Menu h3 - menu page modified for XML version of CMS - ul li a href theXML main a li li a href theXML classes a li li a href theXML links a li li a href theXML software a li li a href theXML media a li ul This menu calls the XML version of the CMS code and sends to it the XML filename that describes each page to be created. Of course you must examine how the XML data is manipulated in that program. Start though with a simpler program that looks at XML data. Introducing XML Parsers A program that reads and interprets XML data is usually called an XML parser. PHP 5 actually ships with three different XML parsers. I focus on the one that s easiest to use. It s called the simpleXML API and comes standard with PHP 5. An API is an application programming interface an extension that adds functionality to a language. If you re using another version of PHP you can either try loading the simpleXML API as an add-on or work with another XML parser. The DOM Document Object Model parser if it s enabled works much like simpleXML. Older versions of PHP include a parser based on SAX Simple API for XML . This is also relatively easy to use but uses a completely different model for file manipulation. Still with careful reading of the online Help you can figure it out The concepts remain the same. If you can use simpleXML it s a great place to start because it s a very easy entry into the world of XML programming. Working with Simple XML The simpleXML model is well named because it s remarkably simple to use once you understand how .