SAX Future (was Re: Oracle XML)

david at david at
Thu Nov 12 15:33:55 GMT 1998

Richard Anderson writes:

 > For interest, have there been any developments of a 'lower level'
 > SAX to expose DTD info too ?

We've talked about it -- I need to be convinced that there is a big
enough demand for that (it would be useful only for very specialised
applications).  I think that the following for SAX 1.0 are probably
higher priorities:

1. A proper specification for SAX (JavaDoc just doesn't cut it).

2. A test suite for SAX conformance.

3. Canonical SAX interfaces for Perl (on top of XML:Parser) and C++.

After that, we need to decide if the benefits of a new version of SAX
outweight the enormous compatibility problems that will result.  If we 
decide that a new version is worthwhile, here's what I think will be
most important:

1. Better control/querying of parser features
   (validating/non-validating, includes/does not include external
   parameter/general entities, provides/does not provide locators, etc.).

2. A canonical interface for SAX filters (probably based on Cowan's

3. A bit more core library functionality (including constructing an
   absolute URL from a file name).

4. A new (optional) handler type for lexical information that can
   optionally be included in the DOM, such as comments and the
   document type declaration.  This will have to track the XML-Infoset 
   work, and parsers would not be required to support it.

This would all be convenient, but is it worth outdating all existing
SAX implementations just to add it?  Parser writers, for example, may
have to deal with hundreds more bug reports (each) because of people
using the wrong version of the SAX interface.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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