Validating Entities (was Re: XML Torture Test: Parsers Fail)

David Brownell db at
Wed Apr 7 22:19:17 BST 1999

"Richard L. Goerwitz" wrote:
> (Incidentally, does it bother anyone else that you can have valid docu-
> ments that aren't well-formed? 

No, because it can never happen ... :-)

I think you meant to ask "does it bother anyone that some nonvalidating
parsers may accept documents that are not well-formed?" on the grounds
that detecting the WF-ness error requires reading an external entity
that's referenced (!) but is not included.

>	 Imagine an external entity used inside
> an attribute value?  If declared in such a way that a non-validating
> parser doesn't realize it's external, then the validating parser will
> reject it as an error (can't have external entities in this context).

That document wouldn't be valid since it's not well formed ... but there
can be nonvalidating parsers that do not recognize that WF-ness error.

> My general point is that the question of what you do while validating is
> not simply a superset of what you do when just parsing with well-formed-
> ness in mind. 

That doesn't match my understanding of the spec.  Could you give an
example of a case where a validating processor does something other
than report something that a nonvalidating one won't?

- Dave

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