write( output=$stdout, indent=-1, transitive=false, ie_hack=false ) public

Write the XML tree out, optionally with indent. This writes out the entire XML document, including XML declarations, doctype declarations, and processing instructions (if any are given).

A controversial point is whether Document should always write the XML declaration (<?xml version=‘1.0’?>) whether or not one is given by the user (or source document). REXML does not write one if one was not specified, because it adds unnecessary bandwidth to applications such as XML-RPC.

See also the classes in the rexml/formatters package for the proper way to change the default formatting of XML output



output_string = ""
tr = Transitive.new( output_string )
Document.new("<a><b/></a>").serialize( tr )


output an object which supports ‘<< string’; this is where the

document will be written.


An integer. If -1, no indenting will be used; otherwise, the indentation will be twice this number of spaces, and children will be indented an additional amount. For a value of 3, every item will be indented 3 more levels, or 6 more spaces (2 * 3). Defaults to -1


If transitive is true and indent is >= 0, then the output will be pretty-printed in such a way that the added whitespace does not affect the absolute value of the document – that is, it leaves the value and number of Text nodes in the document unchanged.


Internet Explorer is the worst piece of crap to have ever been written, with the possible exception of Windows itself. Since IE is unable to parse proper XML, we have to provide a hack to generate XML that IE’s limited abilities can handle. This hack inserts a space before the /> on empty tags. Defaults to false

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