Abbey Workshop

Ant: XML Schema Validation of a Directory Tree

Ant provides a very convenient task for validating all the files in a directory or directory tree. You can use the xmlvalidate task to validate an XML file, or using a fileset, all the files in a directory or directory tree.

Here is an example build.xml file:

Listing for build.xml

   1:<project name="project1" default="validate_project_files">
   3:    <target name="validate_project_files">
   4:        <!-- Make sure the files are valid  -->
   5:        <xmlvalidate    failonerror="yes" lenient="no" warn="yes"
   6:                        classname="org.apache.xerces.parsers.SAXParser"
   7:                        classpath="lib/xerces.jar"
   8:        >
   9:            <fileset dir="." includes="**/*.xml"/>
  10:            <attribute name="" value="true"/>
  11:            <attribute name=""  value="true"/>
  12:        </xmlvalidate>
  13:        <echo message="Project files have been validated"  />
  14:    </target>

A few thoughts on the build file:

  • The attribute lenient is set to no so that the files will be validated. Setting the value to yes will only check the files for well formedness.
  • Setting the attributes classname and classpath are optional according to the documentation. However, I ran into some problems when these attributes were not set. See this how to.
  • The fileset allows you to validate all the files in a directory or a directory tree.
  • The attribute elements inside the xmlvalidate tag enable XML schema validation for the Xerces parser. Schema validation is not enabled by default.
  • The echo message on line 13 was added to display a message when things go well.