I use Empathy as my preferred IM application. Today, I wanted to have a look at an IM conversation I had with someone. I pulled out the Empathy log corresponding to that conversation, and boom - it is in XML.

Just another excuse to write code. So I came up with the following. It was easy to write and it does not do much - It uses the Hpricot gem to parse the XML and prints the name of the people involved in the chat and their messages in a human readable form. What? You are one of those souls who actually enjoy reading XML? Well, I am not one of those.

So here is the code:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
# empathy_lp.rb
# Usage - ./empathy_lp.rb /tmp/20110323.log

require 'rubygems'
require 'hpricot'

module EmpathyLP
  class LogParser
    def initialize file_path
      conversation_xml = IO.readlines(file_path).to_s
      @doc = Hpricot conversation_xml

    def messages
      (@doc/"message").map do |m|
        m.attributes['name'] + ": " + m.inner_text

path = ARGV.first
puts EmpathyLP::LogParser.new(path).messages

I will modify this slightly to show a timestamp for each message.

If you have questions or comments about this blog post, you can get in touch with me on Twitter @sdqali.

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