Sean Mc Grath
digitome at iol.ie
Wed Aug 27 19:35:15 BST 1997
>digitome at iol.ie (Sean Mc Grath) writes:
>> I doubt if I will get this right but I will try and formulate the programming
>> problem as I see it.
>> Here goes:-
>> XML processing applications that read/write XML have to faithfully
>> reproduce white space to avoid data loss. In the course of XML processing,
>> actions will regularly be triggered by context. I.e. "element X within
>> element Y",
>> "first data content chunk below element X" etc.
>Aha! The culprit: 'XML processing applications'. I think where the confusion
>lies here is with the lack of differentiation between processor and
>We are defining an XML _processor_, which in all cases preserves whitespace
>and hands it on to the _application_. An application's handling of whitespace
>will be entirely dependent upon the needs of the application. For example,
>'XML as a data format' might normalize or even eliminate all whitespace,
>whereas 'XML as a document markup' may rely on some type of default handling
>under certain circumstances, or rely entirely on stylesheets. A browsers, as a
>specific case of application, will have different WS handling than a database
>engine, and different again than an XML text-based editor.
>If the processor faithfully passes all WS to the application, the application
>can generate character-accurate offsets for links, etc. with no problems
>due to WS data loss. I see no problems in the current spec, although I must
>agree with Tim and others that XML-SPACE="DEFAULT" seems to have no discernable
>meaning in this context.
>Does that help at all?
The "processor" is the XML parser and the "XML applictation" is the
editor, browser, spell checker, indexer etc. Okay. My concern is how these apps
will *interoperate* in the face of application specific WS conventions. To
do the right thing they need to faithfully reproduce the WS. I think
this is a hard problem. I await with interest some code examples
that illustrate XML->XML interoperability.
Am I completely off base in thinking that WS makes for some hairy issues
in XML->XML applications? What apps have been written that read/write XML? How
have they handled WS integrity? Are patterns emerging that can usefully
become part of
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