SAX/C++ vs. SAX2

Lars Marius Garshol larsga at
Mon Dec 6 13:33:29 GMT 1999

* Vilya Harvey
| Just a thought: why not take a leaf out of the DOM's book and write
| the canonical version of the SAX interfaces in a language-neutral
| format like IDL? 

This may sound like a good idea, but it has its drawbacks in that one
is immediately forced into a lowest common denominator design where it
is impossible to make use of the features that really make each
language what they are.

Also, IDL does not have convenient ways of mapping to C++ streams,
Java InputStream, Python dictionary-like objects and file-like objects
etc etc  

Another problem is that exceptions are first-class objects in SAX
(which is exploited by the Java and Python mappings), but not in IDL.

Nor are language naming conventions respected. (startElement should
really be startElement (in Java), start_element (in C++, Python, IDL)
and start-element (in Common Lisp/Scheme) and there may even be more

As a general reference and statement of intent it might have some
value, but I really think translation should be done by humans. The
main advantage feature of IDL, cross-process and cross-language
interoperability, is not really all that valuable for SAX anyway.

--Lars M.

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