SAX: White space after last element

David Megginson ak117 at
Thu May 14 14:42:49 BST 1998

Michael Kay writes:

 > I just tested SAXON with the new version of IBM's xml4j
 > parser: it crashes because SAXON doesn't expect white space
 > to be reported after the end of the outermost element. I'll
 > fix SAXON so it doesn't crash, but it raises a wider point,
 > because we now have several SAX-conformant parsers reporting
 > white space differently, and I'm not sure whether the spec
 > says clearly which of them is right (perhaps they all are).

The JavaDoc comment for DocumentHandler.ignorableWhitespace begins
with the line

  Receive notification of ignorable whitespace in element content.

In other words, the method should be invoked only between the first
startElement event and the last endElement event (and even then, only
when there is a DTD and the parent element type is declared with
element-only content).

SAX is very new, and I am very tired, after a difficult week (of which
SAX 1.0 was only a tiny part).  When I am better rested, I will take
some time to test the different SAX implementations and to work with
the authors to resolve any problems, or to take suggestions for
clarifying the interface.  While Java interfaces and JavaDoc comments
are useful, they are no substitute for a proper written specification,
which I owe to all of you as soon as I can manage it.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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