XML processing instruction survey

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Wed Dec 1 02:41:27 GMT 1999

"James Tauber" <jtauber at jtauber.com> writes:

> > I'm interested in the extent to which people are actually using the XML
> > processing instruction ( <?xml ) in their XML files, and the extent to
> which
> > they find it useful.
> You mean the XML Declaration?
> It is clearly useful if you use a different character encoding to UTF-8
> (hence also US-ASCII) or UTF-16.

The XML Declaration (not a PI) is also very useful for
forwards-compatibility, so that in the future XML 1.1 (etc.) parsers
will know that they are dealing with XML 1.0 and can either [a] apply
the appropriate rules or [b] die gracefully, depending on the
requirements of future XML specs, if any.

The bad news is that level-three browsers do ugly things when they see 
the XML declaration, but they do ugly things with lots of XML syntax
(since they're not actually XML browsers).

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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