Characters having an ASCII value > 127

John Cowan cowan at
Fri Sep 18 17:12:49 BST 1998

Steffen Rodig wrote:

> imagine a plain text file which I want to markup using XML. Now it could be
> that there are characters in this file whose ASCII value is greater than
> 127 (in PCDATA sections).
> If I try to use expat on the generated XML file, it tells me that it is
> not wellformed at the position where such a character occurs. Does the
> XML spec say anything about not permitting characters with high ASCII
> values? If so, where?

Expat, like a proper XML parser, is assuming the UTF-8 charset.
You need to specify Latin-1 or whatever you are using.
> I guess, to correctly interpret and display those characters I have to
> know the character set which was used to encode the original text file.
> How can I communicate this character set to an XML parser?

Put "<?xml encoding="8859-1" ?>" as the very first line.

John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as:
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list