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voevent-parse 0.5.2

Convenience routines for parsing and manipulation of VOEvent XML packets.

Latest Version: 1.0.2

A bare-bones, lightweight library for parsing, manipulating, and generating VOEvent XML packets.

voevent-parse is available via PyPI. See below for details on installation.


The python library lxml.objectify provides very elegant, attribute-style access to data stored in XML packets. However, dealing with the vagaries of its namespace handling requires some careful reading of the documentation. This library takes care of the details for you, so that accessing those vital data elements is as simple as:

v = voeparse.load(xml_filename)
print "AuthorIVORN:", v.Who.AuthorIVORN   #Prints ivo://nasa.gsfc.tan/gcn
v.Who.AuthorIVORN = 'ivo://i.heart.python/lxml' #Alters the XML value.

It also provides convenience routines for common data access tasks, saving you the hassle of typing out very long attribute chains and dealing with varying formats of VOEvent.


Take your pick; options are:

  • pip install voevent-parse (with a virtualenv, recommended)
  • pip install voevent-parse --user (to install for current user only)
  • Other development tricks e.g. symlink into ~/.local/lib/python2.7/site-packages.

If you’re working with pip/virtualenv, then note that lxml has some prerequisites for compilation that can cause a standard pip install to fail with somewhat cryptic errors. On Ubuntu you can satisfy those requirements using:

apt-get install libxml2-dev libxslt-dev

I intend to mark any updates by bumping the version number accordingly. That said, if you find yourself using voevent-parse in any serious context, do drop me an email so I can keep you informed of any updates or bugs.

API reference docs

While currently quite minimal, these can be found at, or can be built from the source if you prefer the traditional python docs colour-scheme.

lxml.objectify tips

The objectify library has a few syntactic quirks which can trip up new users. Firstly, you should be aware that the line actually returns an object that acts like a list of all the children with the name ‘foo’. What’s confusing is that objectify has syntactic sugar applied so that print is effectively identical to print[0]. Furthermore, this can confuse access to the actual leaf values, so you should be aware of the accessor to the text representation of the value; .text, e.g.:

>root = lxml.objectify.Element('root')
> = 'sometext'
>#The string clearly does not have length==1 - it's the list.
>print len(
>#Ah, that's better!

For some more examples, you might also try:

See also

Alternative parsing libraries

voevent-parse was preceded by VOEventLib, which has similar aims but a different stylistic approach (see ).


In order to receive VOEvent packets, you will require a utility capable of connecting to the VOEvent backbone. Two such tools are Comet and Dakota.

Associated utility routines

Depending on what you want to use your VOEvents for, you may be interested in pysovo, a collection of routines for dealing with VOEvents and responding to them accordingly.

File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size
voevent-parse-0.5.2.linux-x86_64.exe (md5) MS Windows installer any 2014-03-21 80KB
voevent-parse-0.5.2.tar.gz (md5) Source 2014-03-21 18KB