Wrote a couple of new functions for dealing with the FGDC hierarchy:
reads a .txt version of the XML hierarchy for the FGDC bio standard. Returns a dictionary containing the short name of each term as a keyword, and its path as a value.
The algorithm takes advantage of the fact that parent elements are defined before their children, and that each parent term contains references to each child. The file is read line-by-line; the root element written into the dictionary with identical key and value. The paths of its children are created by appending each child's name to the parent's path. When every subsequent element is encountered, its path is located in the dictionary, and its childrens' hierarchy paths are added to the dictionary.
writes an existing dictionary (e.g. the pathway dictionary) to a text file, separating keys and elements with a user-defined delimiter (default is tab).
UPDATE: Added a directory to the SVN repository (in trunk) to hold the FGDC bio standard and related text files (including the output of path() and dictWriter())