Conformance in XML processors

Paul Prescod papresco at
Sun Jan 18 09:45:08 GMT 1998

Peter Murray-Rust wrote:
> Not all XML applications will wish to use browsers  - they may wish to call
> parsing functionality from C programs, UNIX shells and other places. I
> agree wholeheartedly that if XML libraries are universally available then
> there shouldn't be a problem. That is one reason why I'm keen to see SAX
> available in other languages than Java.   However I have many colleagues
> who still use FORTRAN and other languages  where I suspect it will be some
> time before e a set of XML libraries become available.

Hopefully most fortran compilers will be able to link to C libraries.
Another alternative is to pipe the data through a normalizer as we do
for full SGML. Presumably even in Fortan a parser for normalized XML
will not take more than two days to write.

> Perhaps my experience has been clouded by  early exposure to C++, but it
> was extremely common there to find that different compilers had different
> functionality. If this is a non-problem for XML I rejoice.

C++ became a standard only within the last few months. Everything that
was labelled C++ up to then was a valiant attempt to track a moving
target of epic complexity. Even now C++ compilers have wildly divergent
feature sets because implementing one is so hard that it takes years to
get it right (and the requisite years have not yet passed for some
compilers). The important thing to note is that what we have in the
meantime are "not right" (in other words, not true C++ compilers).
 Paul Prescod
"You have the wrong number."
"Eh? Isn't that the Odeon?"
"No, this is the Great Theater of Life. Admission is free, but the 
taxation is mortal. You come when you can, and leave when you must. The 
show is continuous. Good-night." -- Robertson Davies, "The Cunning Man"

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