SAX and whitespace (was Re: Problems with whitespace and msxml)

Tim Bray tbray at
Fri Jan 2 18:13:22 GMT 1998

At 09:57 AM 01/01/98 -0500, David Megginson wrote:
>What the PR means to say here is that a DTD-driven XML parser has to
>treat whitespace in element content differently than whitespace in
>mixed content -- this, of course, has nothing to do with xml:space.
>If there is no DTD, then all element types are assumed to allow mixed
>content, so a DTD-driven XML parser ("validating XML processor") would
>report all whitespace as significant.
>What should SAX do with ignorable whitespace?

SAX must pass all whitespace in the document, without exception,
through to the application.  This is the only remotely conformant
behavior.  The mark-insignificant-WS stuff only is possible in
the case you're validating, and users of SAX surely do not expect
a validating-processor underneath.  -Tim

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