Is anyone using CDATA?

Don Park donpark at
Fri Feb 20 08:33:18 GMT 1998


>Anyone have experiences with CDATA ?  We're interested in inserting
>non-XML markup and BLOBs into XML files, and the best way seems to be
>CDATA.  However, some of the parsers I've been playing around with
>(Microsoft, XMLint) don't support the CDATA element.  Is CDATA handling
>required for a validating parser?

As far as I know, yes.  Version 1.8 of MSXML does handle CDATA sections.  I
don't know about XMLint.  AElfred also supports CDATA.  With SAX, you can
get CDATA section contents but it will appear as characters.  This causes
extra processing burden on some conversion applications (i.e. XML to XML)
but it is not a serious problem, just a boon for Intel.

>For non-XML markup (HTML markup), I could escape the markup and insert
>it under my own elements, but that requires extra processing and makes
>documents larger.  For BLOBs, obviously pointers to the data rather than
>embedded could be done.  But its can be useful to package all required
>data into a single file sometimes.

You can compress the HTML markup and write it out with BASE64 encoding.  I
am in the process of putting together a proposal for embedding binary data
in XML documents.  It is tentatively named XML-Binary proposal.  I will be
posting a draft on this mailing list for comments before submitting it to

As far as packaging goes, there is at least one person working on that
although I can not go into details due to his request for confidentiality.
Perhaps he can elaborate some more.

I hope this helps.

Don Park

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