SAX: parser features (was SAX: two alternatives for namespaces)

Ron Bourret rbourret at
Wed Jul 29 15:10:50 BST 1998

> This leads to another thought -- that we probably need some kind of a
> hook for requesting and/or querying parser features.  This issue came
> up before during the initial SAX 1.0 design.  Something like the
> following might be appropriate:
>   package org.xml.sax;
>   public interface Parser {
>     ...
>     public boolean hasFeature (String featureName);
>     public boolean requestFeature (String featureName, boolean status);
>   }

We designed this kind of mechanism into ODBC.  Because of the large number of 
optional features, it is quite difficult to write truly generic ODBC code.  I 
believe this was justified in ODBC's case because we wanted to work with a large 
variety of existing databases that had a tremendous range of capabilities.

I don't think the same situation applies to SAX.  SAX is still fairly young and 
we have a better chance to dictate/agree on required features, so we should 
avoid optional features as long as possible.  (WRT namespaces, we should either 
design around them or simply require parsers to support them.)

-- Ron Bourret

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