Full Disclosure: What The XML Processor Must Tell The XML Application

Michael Kay M.H.Kay at eng.icl.co.uk
Thu Nov 5 20:08:47 GMT 1998

>Have I overlooked anything?

The interesting thing is that if this list is complete, there are lots of
things the spec doesn't say.

Most notably it doesn't say that the processor must tell the application
anything at all about element tags!

It also doesn't mention anything that the processor mustn't tell the
application, though some of the statements seem to hint that there are
things the application oughtn't to know.

There are some things it doesn't say because they're obvious to everyone,
e.g. that it must retain the order of the characters in the document and not
add any extra ones.

Another thing it doesn't say is when the processor must report an error: in
particular, it would be nice if it insisted that all data passed to the
application before reporting an error must be data that could come from a
valid document. (I've hit this problem recently: to avoid my application
crashing on bad XML, I have to carry out checks that the parser will carry
out anyway, but later)

Mike Kay

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