I, for one, often like to find the solutions that don't involve modules. As a fairly new coder, I am not confident in their use.
That attitude can be a little bit dangerous. If you have a chance, skim the XML 1.0 specification. I'm certainly not going to hand-roll code to parse XML in a couple of hours, and I'm a fairly experienced coder.
You're a lot better off spending your learning time figuring out how to take advantage of work other people have already done. This particular case is awfully complex.
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