SAX2: Namespace proposal

David Brownell david-b at
Tue Dec 21 19:45:01 GMT 1999

David Megginson wrote:
> David Brownell <david-b at> writes:
> > > Yeah, I do too, but so many people (some from big companies) have
> > > sworn up and down on every holy book in Creation that they need that
> > > kind of thing -- and managed to convince the DOM WG to include it in
> > > DOM2 -- that I simply have to assume myself (and Tim) wrong.
> >
> > It's the distinction between new code and old code.  XML isn't a
> > "clean slate" design any more, it's got to deal with some history.
> > One of them is that a DOM L2 implementation MUST NOT (!!!) break
> > existing applications -- L2 is there to add features, not sacrifice
> > compatibility.
> That misses Tim's original argument, though -- he was arguing that
> people who don't want Namespace processing can use SAX1, and people
> who want it can use SAX2, and wondered (aloud) why there would be
> anyone who would need both in the same API.

For the non-namespace features that SAX2 will provide ... it will
have some, right?  Alpha certainly does.

Examples include lexical noise (CDATA, comments, etc), explicit
access to validation capabilities, and ability to tell if a parser
is reading the entire document (i.e. does it read external entities).

Oh, and that namespace support that seems to have gotten no comments
in this discusion ... ;-)

The current published SAX2 API makes it easy for apps to use such
features if they exist.  The notion of an incompatible API evolution
does not have that feature ... the notion of a "pluggable" parser
(typically SAX1 for now, later SAX2) wouldn't work.

- Dave

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