How to retrieve an item from mixed children as text (JDOM)

I have an XML like the following:

    This value must be <i>bigger</i> than the other.

Using JDOM, I can get the following text structures:

Document d = new SAXBuilder().build( new StringReader( s ) );
System.out.printf( "getText:          '%s'%n", d.getRootElement().getText() );
System.out.printf( "getTextNormalize: '%s'%n", d.getRootElement().getTextNormalize() );
System.out.printf( "getTextTrim:      '%s'%n", d.getRootElement().getTextTrim() );
System.out.printf( "getValue:         '%s'%n", d.getRootElement().getValue() );

which give me the following outputs:

getText:          '
    This value must be  than the other.
getTextNormalize: 'This value must be than the other.'
getTextTrim:      'This value must be  than the other.'
getValue:         '
    This value must be bigger than the other.

What I really wanted was to get the content of the element as a string, namely, "This value must be <i>bigger</i> than the other.". getValue() comes close but removes the <i> tag. I guess I wanted something like innerHTML for XML documents...

Should I just use an XMLOutputter on the contents? Or is there a better alternative?

I'd say you should change your document to

  <![CDATA[This value must be <i>bigger</i> than the other.]]>

in order to adhere to the XML specification. Otherwise <i> would be considered a child element of <documentation> and not content.