SAX: Comments (question 7 of 10)

Antony Blakey antony at
Mon Jan 5 02:13:26 GMT 1998

David Megginson wrote:
> Thank you very much for your comments.  I'm not certain, however, that
> either of these is a strong argument for SAX.
> In the first case, SAX is designed to report not the physical
> appearance of the document but its logical structure -- it does not
> preserve internal entity references in data or attribute value
> literals, it does not distinguish defaulted attribute values from
> specified ones, it does not preserve the internal DTD subset,
> etc. etc.

Deep unjoy. Is there any reason not to do both of these things - It
wouldn't be that difficult. I remember a saying 'Things should be as
simple as possible, but no simpler'. It seems to me that this SAX effort
might be letting the quest for simplicity eliminate a whole heap of
useful applications.

> In the second case, I think that it would be a very bad idea to
> implement a JavaDoc-type facility using XML comments.  JavaDoc has to
> use comments because it is not possible to extend Java syntax; XML
> allows you to define your own grammar, so the documentation can be
> part of the fundamental element structure.  For example, instead of
>   <!-- ** Record for David Megginson ** -->
>   <record>
>     <www></www>
>     <email>dmeggins at</email>
>   </record>
> you should use
>   <record>
>     <doc>Record for David Megginson</doc>
>     <www></www>
>     <email>dmeggins at</email>
>   </record>

I agree, but your example implies that my comments were about the data,
rather than about the structure itself - I guess I should have pointed
out that I'm interested in comments in the DTD, so that the DTD can be
documented automatically. This is more like javadoc/idldoc. I'd love an
xmldoc tool. I'm guessing now that SAX doesn't give me DTD events.

I guess SAX is not that useful for me given it's intention (although I'm
pleased to see your effort). Back to the drawing board for me :(

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

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