I share your pain of being in a class that uses the idiotic AP classes. As if C/C++'s built in types aren't good enough...
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!