SAX: Character Stream vs. Byte Stream proposal...

David Megginson ak117 at
Fri Apr 17 19:38:53 BST 1998

Tyler Baker writes:

 > Typically, low-level stuff such as this I feel should be
 > implemented once and then reused over and over again.  There are
 > only so many ways to write character encoders / decoders and I
 > would wager that most parsers out there pretty much have very
 > similiar implementations for reading from byte streams.  XML's
 > beauty is not in the fact the spec defines support for about 6 or
 > so different character encoding formats, it is in everything else.
 > If another character encoding format comes out, then every SAX
 > parser will have to possibly do a rewrite.  If people could agree
 > upon one good efficient dependable implementation, then no one
 > (other than the people doing the 600 or so lines of character
 > encoding implementation code) will have to do a thing.  Of course,
 > people could plug in their own character encoder / decoder
 > implementations if they so choose, but at least they would have the
 > choice.

The nice thing here is that all of this can be built on top of SAX
instead of inside it.  Some implementors are already complaining --
quite understandably -- that SAX has grown far too large.  However,
there is a great opportunity here for someone (or a group of people)
to write a separate SAX toolkit that includes what you suggest and
much more (such as classes implementing AttributeList and Locator,
with copy constructors).

All the best,


David Megginson                 ak117 at
Microstar Software Ltd.         dmeggins at

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