events vs callbacks (was Re: SAX2 (was Re: DOM vs. SAX??? Nah . ))

Ron Daniel RDaniel at
Fri Feb 26 17:39:29 GMT 1999

Dave Megginson said:

[Several good things, ending with ...]

> as long 
> as we're smart enough not to kill off SAX's original advantages in
> round two.
[Ron Daniel]  So now for a couple of comments from
the peanut gallery. The first is the standard warning
about second system syndrome. Its a syndrome because its
a mistake that keeps getting made.

So, while I was starting to get pretty interested in
the discussion around what seem to be fairly large
changes to SAX for version 2, Dave's sentence caused
me to stop and ask myself what gripes I have with SAX

I've only used SAX for four parsers, so I can't claim extensive
experience. But from the experience I do have, I'm actually
pretty happy with the overall structure. I particularly like
the way I can use several document handlers to modularize the
parsing of documents with complex DTDs. But what I find myself
really wishing SAX had is a DTDHandler with methods like
startElementDeclaration(), startAttlistDeclaration(), ... 
It should also have methods that pull apart the content model
for me.

Other features like control of parsing options (validating or
not, control over namespace expansion, ...) will also be needed.
But I don't currently feel a need to change the basics of the
DocumentHandler interface.


Ron Daniel Jr.
139 Townsend Street, Suite 100
San Francisco, CA  94107
415.222.0100 fax 415.222.0150 
rdaniel at

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