Partial XML Processors (was Re: JavaScript parser update and Questions)

Jeremie Miller jeremie at
Sat Jan 17 15:44:17 GMT 1998

> [great discussion about well-formed parser and ignoring DTD stuff

I guess I'm not the only one who is unsure about this.  I would like to
think that based on the mentioned goal 4 of XML: "It shall be easy to write
programs which process XML documents" that the true spirit of _only_ a
well-formed parser is the requirements that it can process a well-formed
document(and the proper error reporting which I'm still working on).  Now
yes, *all* XML documents are well-formed, but the DTD stuff is extra
information for a validating parser.  If possible, it would be great for all
well-formed parsers to at least process internal DTD information, but that
is still an activity beyond well-formed XML documents.  Again, this is all
just my opinion, so if it needs changing please let me know :)

What this stems from is the fact that my JavaScript XML parser has no
_fundamental_ way of accessing URL's or files, and therefore no way of
obtaining _anything_ external to the XML string it was given.  So I am
trying to do the best I can with that.  The point I'm at is trying to figure
out if I need to actually process internal DTD information, for now I just
ignore it.  As it stands, my most immediate goal is simply to correctly
process XML fragments, since it is beyond the functionality of JavaScript to
be a full-blown XML parser for various reasons(encoding, file access,

Would it be worthwhile writing up a *simple* document clearly identifying
all of the requirements for a well-formed parser and a validating parser,
such as "It has to be able to handle CDATA, rmd, DTD's, recognize entities,
and throw errors for X, X and X, etc..."?  Or am I the only one who doesn't
see _clearly_ the requirements and differences as defined in the XML spec?


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