Roll-Your-Own Parsers (was: Re: What Clean Specs Achieve)

Tyler Baker tyler at
Thu Feb 11 05:45:30 GMT 1999

Bill la Forge wrote:

> From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl at>
> >If we could work with parser layers rather than parsers, this might become
> >a lot easier to manage.  We could just turn on the parts we need and turn
> >off the ones we don't.
> We've been continuing our effort to add filters to MDSAX and in the process
> ran into a small problem--the runtime was loading all the filters specifiec in the context
> boot document. The next release fixes this, so that only the filters actually being
> used get loaded.
> Anyway, the point here is that a reasonable approach to dynamic configuration
> should give you a very small footprint when only selected features are used.
> This in contrast to a does-everything monolithic parser. And as the specs
> mature, it seems likely that the larger companies represented at the W3C
> have no reason at all to keep the specs small and lightweight--cumbersom
> specs nicely eliminates much of the competition!
> So it seems the choice is clear... expect your parsers to grow till they have more
> features than MS Word, or take a configurable approach which allows the developer
> to select the capabilities necessary for the job at hand.

Sad but true, but this is not the parser writer's fault as we are almost completely obligated
to support everything in a W3C recommendation to call ourselve's compliant.  I am wondering if
you will be able to call an XML framework compliant if it elects to omit namespaces support or
any future technical headache that is thrown at us developers.


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