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  #1  
Old 07-12-2017, 05:58 AM
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Some help with XML files please

Good morning to all,

Sometime ago I posted a thread about my sisters business partner deleting all the business files from the work Laptop.

At that time i was in QLD, and my sister was in VIC so helping was a bit difficult without the physical Computer in hand, so to speak.

Since then the deleted files have been recovered, it is quite a mixture of junk and obviously unreadable files that need some special attention/programs to be opened.

I am able to open some like text files, photo files, and HTML files, but there are some with XML extensions, and i am not able to open them.

Would anyone here know what i should do, do i need a program for this file or is there some method that i don't know to open these.

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Leon

P.S some of the file extensions i have come across are :

Text, PNG, JPG, XML CP File, Cabinet File, Docx, most of these are fine and i can access them but the XML is proving difficult.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2017, 08:18 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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xml will open with Notepad.
They are text based files mainly used by the PC for actioning instructions.
Do NOT open with Word or Wordpad.

Right mouse click on them and select 'Open with ...Notepad'
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:23 PM
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Thank you Brent, I will see how this goes.

I presume i will have to buy/download this software as I do not have it on
my Computer according to my Program list.
Or maybe there is a free version that may be of help.

Leon
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:34 PM
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Notepad is part of every windows..
You should have it. If you use Mac, try download notepad++

Last edited by bojan; 14-12-2017 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 07-12-2017, 01:28 PM
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AstralTraveller (David)
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If you have Win 7 or earlier it's under Accessories. I don't know about later versions. Typing 'notepad' into the search box also finds it.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2017, 02:01 PM
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Many thanks to you all for your assistance.

Leon
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2017, 03:28 PM
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Ok, well i have done that and they do open but the content makes no sense really.
Can I expect to find anything else in this jumbled mess of words etc, like for example properly constructed text, sentences, and/or possible statements of deleted invoices.
Could these XML files hold information that i might need to recover the stuff that has been lost, so to speak.
Or am i just wasting time with these files.

Leon
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:47 AM
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xml files normally are direction and instruction files for the PC. Some are written by programmers to do things, others created by the PC for it's own use. Normally you would not find user information in them.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:41 PM
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KISSMAD (Bruce)
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Open Office can open xml files.
It's a free open source program.
OpenOffice.org
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2017, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leon View Post
Ok, well i have done that and they do open but the content makes no sense really.
Can I expect to find anything else in this jumbled mess of words etc, like for example properly constructed text, sentences, and/or possible statements of deleted invoices.
Could these XML files hold information that i might need to recover the stuff that has been lost, so to speak.
Or am i just wasting time with these files.

Leon
Hi Leon,

You are probably wasting your time.

XML files are data files.

Though a program might use them for storing the information in an invoice, XML structures
the data in an application-specific way that typically can only be easily reinterpreted by the
original program itself.

Though an XML file is plain text and human-readable, typically you will only be able to glean
snippets of information by eyeballing them because the tags that are used to help organize the data
tend to get in the way.

There is no universal organization of XML data and it is application specific.

So there is no magic program out that you can open them with and suddenly
say a complete human-readable invoice will pop out.

The XML file really needs to be opened by the actual specific application - say a piece of
accounting software - that it was designed for to make much sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroID View Post
They are text based files mainly used by the PC for actioning instructions.
Hi Brent. Sorry, this is not correct.

XML files are not used for actioning instructions. They are not executable
nor do they provide a form of interpreted scripting.

They are just structured data.

The text in the <angular brackets> are known as tags. They look
similar to HTML tags.

The author of an XML file defines the structure of the data for their own
purposes.

So for example, if we wanted to create a list of phone contacts we might
concoct something like :-

<contact>
<last_name>Blogs</last_name>
<first_name>Fred</first_name>
<phone>555 123 456</phone>
</contact>

We might then write our own contacts list program that opens an XML
data file like the above and uses its tags to locate data.

Though their are "rules" governing the syntax of a valid XML file,
we can define whatever tags we want and they may be unique to our
program and to no other.

So wanting to open an XML file by anything than the associated program
that can interpret its structure and internally uses it makes no
practical sense.

Another example of the practical use of XML files is that some programs
might use them to store user define setups.

Though XML files are designed to be human readable - that is they
are plain text files - that intent is really just meant to be a convenience
to the developer of the program. In practice, programmers tend to
handcraft their first XML files when first debugging their programs but
after that it is usually the program itself that reads and writes them.

An XML file might be vital to a program correctly running if it required the
data within it.

Some programs might look for the presence of an existing XML file and
if it is not there be able to automatically create a default one if it is say
for setup preferences.

But if the XML file contained information such as the current postal rates
for letters and parcels, then its loss will typically be more problematic.

Best Regards

Gary

Last edited by gary; 09-12-2017 at 02:10 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-12-2017, 03:09 PM
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Thank you Gary for that information, I will now direct my attention to the other files like doxc, txt, h, java, and HTML files plus others, and see if i can dig up any information.

Regards

Leon
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  #12  
Old 11-12-2017, 02:31 PM
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Hint, get yourself a decent Text Editor program and a Hex Editor program, there are heaps free on every operating system in existence. Then you can drag and drop into either the text editor or hex editor to get a better look at whats there. You will find many files like XML that are just plain text but NOT plain english. Often though near the top will be something that identifies the program that created them, some form of comment from the program itself like the xml files may have been hand written by someone and have a comment about its purpose or it could indicate what program wrote them . The extension on the file isn't always accurate or relevantbut the file will either be ASCII(text) or binary(a special file format) and a text editor will display all the ASCII files fine and a Hex editor will show a hex dump of the binary files. binary files sometimes show bits of plain text that you can get information from like the program name that wrote the file. So get the two programs and it'll help you out. Some programs can be found that can test the files they support. For example .zip archives can be tested by winzip and 7zip to see if they can be opened and you can often run the tests from a shell and batch test all*.zip, *.rar etc files in one go. Acrobat can do the similar for PDF files. Much faster than trying to load each file one by one.
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  #13  
Old 11-12-2017, 06:06 PM
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Thanks indeed Sil, I will see what i can do with the programs you mentioned.

Leon
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