Python – How to parse XML and count instances of a particular node attribute


I have many rows in a database that contains XML and I'm trying to write a Python script to count instances of a particular node attribute.

My tree looks like:

      <type foobar="1"/>
      <type foobar="2"/>

How can I access the attributes "1" and "2" in the XML using Python?

Best Solution

I suggest ElementTree. There are other compatible implementations of the same API, such as lxml, and cElementTree in the Python standard library itself; but, in this context, what they chiefly add is even more speed -- the ease of programming part depends on the API, which ElementTree defines.

First build an Element instance root from the XML, e.g. with the XML function, or by parsing a file with something like:

import xml.etree.ElementTree as ET
root = ET.parse('thefile.xml').getroot()

Or any of the many other ways shown at ElementTree. Then do something like:

for type_tag in root.findall('bar/type'):
    value = type_tag.get('foobar')

And similar, usually pretty simple, code patterns.