All-purpose Property List manipulation library

Plist is a library to manipulate Property List files, also known as plists. It can parse plist files into native Ruby data structures as well as generating new plist files from your Ruby objects.

Usage

Parsing

result = Plist::parse_xml('path/to/example.plist')

result.class
=> Hash

"#{result['FirstName']} #{result['LastName']}"
=> "John Public"

result['ZipPostal']
=> "12345"

Example Property List

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>
        <key>FirstName</key>
        <string>John</string>

        <key>LastName</key>
        <string>Public</string>

        <key>StreetAddr1</key>
        <string>123 Anywhere St.</string>

        <key>StateProv</key>
        <string>CA</string>

        <key>City</key>
        <string>Some Town</string>

        <key>CountryName</key>
        <string>United States</string>

        <key>AreaCode</key>
        <string>555</string>

        <key>LocalPhoneNumber</key>
        <string>5551212</string>

        <key>ZipPostal</key>
        <string>12345</string>
</dict>
</plist>

Generation

plist also provides the ability to generate plists from Ruby objects. The following Ruby classes are converted into native plist types:

Array, Bignum, Date, DateTime, Fixnum, Float, Hash, Integer, String, Symbol, Time, true, false
  • Array and Hash are both recursive; their elements will be converted into plist nodes inside the <array> and <dict> containers (respectively).

  • IO (and its descendants) and StringIO objects are read from and their contents placed in a <data> element.

  • User classes may implement to_plist_node to dictate how they should be serialized; otherwise the object will be passed to Marshal.dump and the result placed in a <data> element. See below for more details.

Creating a plist

There are two ways to generate complete plists. Given an object:

obj = [1, :two, {'c' => 0xd}]

If you've mixed in Plist::Emit (which is already done for Array and Hash), you can simply call to_plist:

obj.to_plist

This is equivalent to calling Plist::Emit.dump(obj). Either one will yield:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<array>
    <integer>1</integer>
    <string>two</string>
    <dict>
      <key>c</key>
      <integer>13</integer>
    </dict>
</array>
</plist>

You can also dump plist fragments by passing false as the second parameter:

Plist::Emit.dump('holy cow!', false)
=> "<string>holy cow!</string>"

Custom serialization

If your class can be safely coerced into a native plist datatype, you can implement to_plist_node. Upon encountering an object of a class it doesn't recognize, the plist library will check to see if it responds to to_plist_node, and if so, insert the result of that call into the plist output.

An example:

class MyFancyString
  ...

  def to_plist_node
    return "<string>#{self.defancify}</string>"
  end
end

When you attempt to serialize a MyFancyString object, the to_plist_node method will be called and the object's contents will be defancified and placed in the plist.

If for whatever reason you can't add this method, your object will be serialized with Marshal.dump instead.

Links

Project Page

plist.rubyforge.org

GitHub

github.com/bleything/plist

RDoc

plist.rubyforge.org

Credits

plist is maintained by Ben Bleything <ben@bleything.net> and Patrick May <patrick@hexane.org>. Patrick wrote most of the code; Ben is a recent addition to the project, having merged in his plist generation library.

Other folks who have helped along the way:

Martin Dittus

who pointed out that Time wasn't enough for plist Dates, especially those in ~/Library/Cookies/Cookies.plist

Chuck Remes

who pushed Patrick towards implementing #to_plist

Mat Schaffer

who supplied code and test cases for <data> elements

Michael Granger

for encouragement and help

Carsten Bormann, Chris Hoffman, Dana Contreras, Hongli Lai, Johan Sørensen

for contributing Ruby 1.9.x compatibility fixes

License and Copyright

plist is released under the MIT License.

Portions of the code (notably the Rakefile) contain code pulled and/or adapted from other projects. These files contain a comment at the top describing what was used.

MIT License

Copyright © 2006-2010, Ben Bleything <ben@bleything.net> and Patrick May <patrick@hexane.org>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.