SAX/C++: C++-specific design principles

David Megginson david at
Thu Dec 2 21:33:51 GMT 1999

Here are the principles that I applied to creating my first draft
SAX/C++ interface:

1. Use references when there can never be a null value, pointers

2. Pointers never change ownership -- if a Parser (for example) wants
   to own an InputSource, it needs to make its own copy.  The app has
   to free everything that it allocates, and the SAX driver, likewise.

3. Callbacks cannot be const, since they often change the state of the 
   client app.

4. Hold my nose and use UTF-8 rather than UTF-16, for compatibility
   with most existing C++ code.

5. Use char * rather than string, to avoid forcing a lot of allocation 
   overhead on the SAX driver.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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