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Re: [Gnucap-devel] netlist translation via XML/XSLT

From: Andrew Plumb
Subject: Re: [Gnucap-devel] netlist translation via XML/XSLT
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2006 17:06:34 -0400 (EDT)
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Thus spake Dan McMahill:
> Has anyone looked at gnetman?  I think that was part of the idea there.
>   The author of that tool has quite a bit of experience in netlist
> databases so it may be a useful starting place.  Even if none of the
> code is used, there may be some good ideas there.
> -Dan

Hi Dan,

Interesting!  I'd never heard of gnetman.

Thinking back to why I went the XML route (to answer some of Al's reply),
the primary motivator was to separate (netlist format) form from (electric
circuit) function...  No, that was the secondary motivator; the primary
motivator was laziness.  Supporting a monolithic translator from one
netlist format to another was an enormous time-hog.  By only focusing on
converting from the netlist-native format to an XML-wrapped equivalent, it
was a lot easier for me to incrementally develop and support example XSL
Transforms and for others to take it in other directions.

Most programming languages, not to mention web browsers and popular
applications (MS Word and OpenOffice), have native XML parsing (SAX and/or
DOM), writing and manipulation capabilities.  Java has both XML and XSLT
capabilities built in (applying an XSLT to the resulting XML was trivial
to implement as a result), and most Linux distros (and Mac OS X) ship with
xlstproc as part of the libxslt package.

There's also a lot more documentation and expertise (a.k.a. recipies) out
there w.r.t. interacting with XML data and/or using XSL Transforms than
with netlist formats.  I'm an engineer, not a computer scientist. ;-)

Aside:  I downloaded the latest gnucap build and it compiled and ran as-is
on my MBP.  When I get a chance, I'll take a look at the source and see if
I can't re-work the existing parser into a spice2xml tool.  I've started
coding up some Lex/Yacc code anyway as an excuse to get familiar with
Apple's Xcode IDE.




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