Announcement: SAX 1998-01-12 Draft

David Megginson ak117 at
Mon Jan 12 14:53:14 GMT 1998

I am happy to announce the first draft of SAX, the Simple API for XML,
together with a Java reference implementation and drivers for the
major Java-based XML parsers.

SAX is a simple, common, event-based API for XML parsers written in
object-oriented languages like Java, C++, or Perl5 (the reference
implementation is in Java).  SAX is similar in philosophy to
JavaSoft's JDBC -- it allows you to write an application once, then
plug in any XML parser that has a SAX driver, just as the JDBC allows
you to plug in any SQL database that has a JDBC driver.  The SAX API
was developed collaboratively during a month of discussion on the
XML-DEV mailing list.

As an event-based interface, SAX is complementary to the proposed
(tree-based) Document Object Model interface; in fact, it should be
possible to implement a basic DOM interface on top of SAX, or a basic
SAX interface on top of DOM.  Event-based interfaces provide very
simple, low-level access to parsing events, without straining system

For SAX documentation, a draft spec, a reference implementation of the
SAX interfaces in Java, SAX front-end drivers for the major Java XML
parsers (NXP, Lark, MSXML, and Ælfred), and a sample SAX application,
please see

I would like people to play with this for a month or two, during which
time I'll collect suggestions and bug reports; after that, with luck,
we can come up with a final draft.  I may continue to work on the SAX
drivers during that time, but I want to leave the rest alone for a

All the best,


David Megginson                 ak117 at
Microstar Software Ltd.         dmeggins at

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