SAX: Parser Interface -- Summary of Change Requests

Michael Kay M.H.Kay at
Tue Feb 3 10:58:02 GMT 1998

>Tyler Baker writes:
> [on reading XML from a stream rather than a URI]
> > Well, what if the XML data is streamed from a database where a URL
> > does not matter so much...

This suggests an analogy with CGI. A URL is not the name of a document, it
is a request for a stream of data, and what we need is a style of URL (or
extended URL) that allows the application to say "please send your requests
for data to me and I will supply a stream in response".

>This is a good point, but there are complications.  Do these vendors
>plan to use character streams or byte streams?
I don't know the Java technicalities, but surely what we mean by a stream
here is something that supplies a sequence of Unicode characters. (Surely
not the parser's job to turn bytes into characters?)

We should also ensure that the design makes certain special cases easy for
the application writer, e.g.:

a) the primary input source is a file in filestore. (Translating the
filename to a URL is error-prone and it would be better for the parser to do

b) there is only one input source (e.g. a record containing XML read from a
database, with no DTD or other external entities), probably available
already in the application as the contents of a String.

regards, Mike Kay

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