Go, Wayland, and spending too much writing time writing a tool that makes XML into HTML so you can read it without your eyes bleeding

Yes, that title is too long and I know it.

If my previous blog post didn't make it clear, I don't like dealing with XML. Obtuse to write, obtuse to read. Given that I wrote a program so that I wouldn't need to write XML for an application menu protocol, it only makes sense that I would do the same for reading Wayland protocols. And thus, ReadWay and its non-web cousin ilo Welenko were born.

Parsing the XML

If you're familiar with Wayland, you're probably familiar with the XML files you can find in /usr/share/wayland and /usr/share/wayland-protocols. What you may not have noticed is the /usr/share/wayland/wayland.dtd file lurking alongside the core Wayland protocol. This is a document type definition file, which defines what a valid XML document looks like. Thankfully, this is a fairly simple DTD to write Go structures for. This DTD definition:

<!ELEMENT description (#PCDATA)>
  <!ATTLIST description summary CDATA #REQUIRED>

becomes this Go code:

type Description struct {
    Summary string `xml:"summary,attr"`
    Body    string `xml:",chardata"`

And this:

<!ELEMENT protocol (copyright?, description?, interface+)>
  <!ATTLIST protocol name CDATA #REQUIRED>


type Protocol struct {
    Name        string      `xml:"name,attr"`
    Copyright   string      `xml:"copyright"`
    Description Description `xml:"description"`
    Interfaces  []Interface `xml:"interface"`

Fairly simple, eh?

To unmarshal a protocol XML into a Go structure, you just xml.Unmarshal like this:

data, err := ioutil.ReadFile(path)
// handle error
proto := Protocol{}
err = xml.Unmarshal(data, &proto)
// handle error
// do something with proto


Of course, Go structs aren't particularly easy to read for documents even compared to XML. This is when Go's html/template package comes into play. You can throw a Protocol and a template at it like so:

<h1>{{ .Name }} <small class="text-muted">protocol</small></h1>

    {{ .Description.Body }}

{{ range $iface := .Interfaces }}
    <h2>{{ $iface.Name }} <small class="text-muted">interface version {{ $iface.Version }}</small></h2>

    <!-- finish rendering interfaces -->

{{ end }}

Of course, you have the more generic text/template package, which is what ilo Welenko uses. Same concept applies:

Kirigami.Page {
    title: "{{ .Name }}"
    ColumnLayout {
        {{ range $iface := .Interfaces }}
        Kirigami.Heading {
            text: "{{ $iface.Name }} version {{ $iface.Version }}"
        {{ end }}

(And yes, I am statically generating QML code in Go and loading it instead of marshalling it into Qt data types and using model/views/repeaters.)

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Tags: #libre