Representing '&' in URLs

Borden, Jonathan jborden at
Sat Jan 23 00:57:41 GMT 1999

John Cowan wrote:

> Robin Cover wrote:
> > This makes the syntax valid, but unfortunately, only a few Web servers
> > will be able to handle this notation.  The same engineers (apparently)
> > who have designed the software to generate the malformed URLs have
> > also designed the servers to grok ONLY raw (unescaped) ampersand.  For
> > the notation you have offered, most processors will choke.  So, as
> > a document author attempting to compose valid HTML/XML with links
> > of this kind - you're hosed.
> Note that this stricture applies only when you are trying to make
> well-formed XML that is also usable HTML.  If you are only concerned
> with XML, then use & without fear, as any XML processor will
> do the right thing before passing the hyperlink to your application.

	The way I have handled this issue in my XSL sheets that generate HTML from
XML is in the following (sample template) ... here the HTML href is created
from individual XML attributes and the '&' is used to concatenate these into
the output href attribute ... the HTML looks like
<img href="dicomjpeg.asp?Study=1.2.840.111&Series=1&Image=54" alt="here is
an example" />

<xsl:template match="Images">
	<xsl:for-each match="Image">
		<xsl:element name="img">
		<xsl:attribute name="src">dicomjpeg.asp?Study=<xsl:value-of
select="ancestor(Series)/@Number" />&amp;Image=<xsl:value-of
		<xsl:attribute name="alt"><xsl:value-of select="@desc" /></xsl:attribute>

Jonathan Borden

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as:
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list