SAX: New Idea for Entity Resolution

W. E. Perry wperry at
Wed Apr 15 23:20:55 BST 1998

David Megginson wrote:

> Here's a different idea for SAXEntityResolver, that would add the
> ability for an application to return a character stream for _any_ URI
> (rather than just the document root):

Yes! Yes! Yes!

And, in addition to the benefits you identify, this approach provides (of special
interest in our niche):

    -- separation of notification that a document is available from the delivery
and parsing of that document:  Notice might consist of a very small SMTP message
sent to dozens of interested parties. Each would apply its own criteria to
determine the priority of the document and to schedule a suitable 'pickup'.
Rather than be forced to have appropriate processes always available to deal with
whatever documents might become available (perhaps from across a dozen time
zones) at inconvenient times, the recipient may schedule processing of various
document types to its own convenience and to suit the nature of its own business.
And, of course, the routing to acquire the document might follow a very different
(more secure, perhaps, or of greater bandwidth) path than the original notice.

    -- clear separation of document acquisition from document parsing and
subsequent processing. (This is actually a *feature* of the inability to build
SAXEntityResolver on top of existing Java-based SAX parsers.) Among other
possibilities, this allows conclusions about the nature of a document to be based
on when, where, and under what circumstances it becomes available Those
conclusions might dictate how that document most prudently should be processed.

Clearly, I am looking at the underlying XML primarily as a 'wire protocol' and
the document as a message, but it is not necessary to share these preconceptions
in order to appreciate the functional integrity of the proposal.

Thank you.

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