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

John Cowan cowan at
Fri Apr 9 19:48:23 BST 1999

Richard L. Goerwitz wrote:

> (Incidentally, does it bother anyone else that you can have valid docu-
> ments that aren't well-formed?

Not by definition: a non-WF document simply isn't an XML document at
all, and calling it "valid" is no more meaningful than calling the
text of this email "valid".

In any case, I don't understand your example.

> 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).

References to external entities in attribute values are not WF.
All this means is that a non-validating parser that doesn't read
all the external parameter entities may fail to detect certain WF

A validating parser, or for that matter a non-validating but
all-entity-reading parser, will correctly reject such a document as

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)

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