ANNOUNCEMENT: Proposed SAX Revisions

David G. Durand dgd at
Mon Mar 23 16:38:33 GMT 1998

	From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter at>

	David G. Durand wrote:
	 > Please, please, please, allow me a way to find out if an element was
	 > "empty". (i.e. written <e/>). I use this information when I
write DTDs, and
	 > intend to continue doing so. I also know, from the long
discussions in the
	 > XML-SIG that I am not alone in using this syntax to represent a
	 > that I want preserved and detectable by applications.
	Whatever the desirability of this - and I'm neutral - my
understanding is
	that currently the spec makes no distinction between <e></e> and
</e>. IOW
	documents differ only in the byte stream and not in the result of
	An analogy is that
	Lord's and Lord&apos;s
	are completely equivalent. I therefore think it would be incorrect and
	misleading for SAX to implement this - sorry.

Since the spec. explicitly allows this (though under the IMO
misleading name of a "for compatibility" feature) it can't be
"incorrect and misleading" for SAX to implement it. It also means that
SAX is not _required_ to implement it, but then, my plea wasn't
phrased in those terms.

The fact that this is an implementor option does not remove my need to
have the information available. Since this is instance-only
information, I see no reason that SAX can't easily provide it. In
fact, I proposed a simple way to support it that doesn't prevent other
applications from ignoring the distinction.

  -- David
David Durand                 dgd at| david at
Boston University Computer Science        | Dynamic Diagrams  |
                                          | MAPA: mapping for the WWW

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