I started developing the component by following the Joomla HelloWorld MVC Tutorial using different names (ReaXmlImport...), and adding the extra fields I needed for the job.
The plan is to use directories to contain the REAXML files; an input, work, done, log and and an error directory. To use the helloworld model list I decide to have the extension be able to support more than one configuration. When creating a REAXML Import menu item you select the configuration to be used. Clicking the menu item in the frontend will start the import (eventually as a thread). A configuration just contains the absolute paths for the five directories at the moment.
Using JLog to write custom log events to log files in the log directory. Creates a new log file on every run. Had to adjust the JLog date timezone to the local time zone. Likely the log files will be sent or be made available to relatively low tech users.
Using a library extension to contain the actual importer logic.
I purchased a 6 month support subscription for EZRealty and installed into a fresh barebones Joomla 3.3.3 site and configured it for the client, Roberts Estate Agents & Property Managers.
I worked through the Manage Property Add New and filled out a spread sheet giving me the field labels and names (using FireBug to find the names in the source).
From this I'll go through the tables and match any columns with the same names names. Done few so far, not all of them yet. So far the field names in the html match column names in the #__ezrealty database table.
To do the mapping from REAXML I'm thinking of a class for each EZRealty column/field. The class will be hard coded to xpath to the REAXML elements and attributes that can be used to determine the field value. I was thinking of using a mapping XML file to define the mapping. It would be complicated and time is getting short.
This approach of using php classes really should, in fact demands I feel that I be using the test driven development methodology. Only the effort to setup a working punit automated testing framework in eclipse is somewhat daunting for me. And again as noted, time is running short. Thing is will I spend more time debugging the installed extension compared with the time spend getting a usable unit testing framework in eclipse?
Well that's all I have time for today.