XML Torture Test: Parsers Fail

Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Wed Apr 7 16:29:28 BST 1999

At 9:37 AM -0400 4/7/99, Richard L. Goerwitz wrote:

>And in fact, one can make a good case for reading in and checking exter-
>nal entities even if they're not "used."  If you fail to do this, you can
>end up with a DTD that itself triggers errors when used with some docu-
>ments, but not others.  Worse yet, you can end up with a DTD that was
>thought to be valid, but which fails unexpectedly when used with a new
>document instance.

But it's not DTDs that are well-formed or valid. It's documents. Nowhere in
the XML specification is validity or well-formedness of a DTD, separate
from a  document, defined. And it's certainly true that whatever the DTD,
you can attach documents to it that are non-well-formed and/or invalid (and
which a parser will report is such). In other words, you can't validate a
DTD alone, so there's no point in worrying about what happens if you try.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo at metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|        XML: Extensible Markup Language (IDG Books 1998)            |
|   http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0764531999/cafeaulaitA/   |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://sunsite.unc.edu/javafaq/ |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://sunsite.unc.edu/xml/     |

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