This must be the sixth of seventh time that I hear smart people call SAX complex. In the case of some techniques, I can understand why some would find them complex. But in the case of SAX it totally evades me.
SAX requires the following knowledge to be used effectively:
And that's all. Yes there is more available from the spec. There are several Handler types that one can use when it can be more convenient to dispatch various events to different classes. But you can simply use the default ('Handler') and forget about the others. Yes there are events that can be used to express the more obscure parts of XML but either you know what they are and thus how to use them, or you don't and you can freely ignore them. I ignore them in 98% of the cases. That's why the spec has been split into Basic and Advanced chapters. Most people only read the Basic part, and are happy with that.
And for the very few rough edges (choosing a parser, building long pipelines...) there are helper modules. There also are quite a good bunch of articles on the subject at http://www.xml.com/pub/q/perlxml that really explain things in simple terms (thanks Kip!).
So is there something that triggers dummy mode in otherwise brilliant people? Is there some magic potion that makes it simple for some of us?
I'm not ranting. I simply feel at loss.