SAX: Comments (question 7 of 10)

Antony Blakey antony at
Mon Jan 5 00:47:00 GMT 1998

David Megginson wrote:
> Should SAX include an event for comments?
>   public void comment (char ch[], int length);

YES. Think of two tools you can't write without this: transformers and
javadoc-style documentation tools. Javadoc is a revolution in
documentation, not because it is particularly great in itself, but
because it lowers the barrier to documentation production. Also, I often
have to transform documents from authors, which then go back into the
authoring process. Achieving identity is a requirement in this case.

Our company uses XML/SGML for everything from documents to declarative
multimedia product definitions, system configuration files, scripting
environment management, configuration management, CORBA-style RPC
(transport layer) and more. Once you start using XML as you canonical
data format, the identity transform becomes critical. Just imagine if
perl converted all characters above 127 to hex escapes on output. Or
worse - deleted them.

Furthermore, the CONs in this case don't seem all that compelling. In
particular, point 2 (...might encourage comment abuses...) seems rather
prescriptive. It's just a tool after all.

> Another lexical feature that I am not discussing here is CDATA
> sections; I assume that, when the parser is reporting character data,
> it does not matter how the parser obtained those characters (in a
> CDATA section, or in regular #PCDATA with the delimiters escaped using
> references).  I am happy, of course, to listen to other opinions on
> this subject.

This is neccessary for the identify transform.

|          Antony Blakey           |
|         N-Space Pty Ltd          |
|    Java - CORBA - SGML - XML     |
|   mailto:antony at   |
|    |

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