SAX and delayed entity loading

david at david at
Wed Dec 2 21:42:31 GMT 1998

Gabe Beged-Dov writes:

 > I have been performing thought experiments (in other words, I
 > haven't actually tried it out :-) on how to delay loading of
 > external entities using SAX. The scenario is you want to do browser
 > style incremental presentation where you delegate any external
 > entity loading to separate SAX pipelines.  You want to spew the
 > overrall structure into the users' face as quickly as possible and
 > then fill in the blanks.

I think that this is a mistaken approach -- it confuses entities with
links.  For what you want to do, it would be much better to have
something like the following:

  <subdoc xml:link="simple" href="chapter.xml" show="embed"/>

Now, you can make the chapter a separate document, and parse (and
render) it whenever you want.

 > My impression of the SAX architecture is that the parser is expecting to
 > handle all loading of external entities itself. It will call the
 > EntityResolver expecting to get either a system identifier or a stream.
 > There doesn't seem to be a third possibility of "ignore this entity".
 > It seems you can fake this by  returning a dummy stream to the parser from
 > your resolver. This dummy stream would have minimal well formed content
 > (could it be empty?) and then on you go. Are there other possibilities?

An empty stream would be sufficient.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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