Preserving white space and entity references in DataChannel XJP

Erik James Freed ejfreed at
Wed Jul 28 05:24:26 BST 1999


Yes indeed this is not a pure DOM/XML issue, however the DC extension does
purport to
adhere to standard XML concepts.

The following is from the datachannel documentation on the
PreserveWhiteSpace parameter:

	"As per the XML Language Specification, this specifies the white space
handling for the 	application; that is, the default white space handling to
apply when 	xml:space="default". If preserveWhiteSpace is true, all white
space will be preserved 	regardless of the setting of any xml:space
attributes in the document. The white space 	will be preserved by additional
text nodes being present in the tree. If 	preserveWhiteSpace is false, then
the values of the xml:space attribute specified in 	the document will
determine whether white space is preserved or not. "

So with that clarification is this a bug or a feature?


-----Original Message-----
From: Vance Christiaanse [mailto:vance at]
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 1999 11:49 AM
To: Erik James Freed
Cc: Xml-Dev; Keith Swenson
Subject: Re: Preserving white space and entity references in DataChannel

> Erik James Freed wrote:
> I am experiencing some strange behavior with the datachannel XML
> parser package (the most recent one).
> In my reading of the DOM spec, this is not appropriate behavior, but
> perhaps I am missing something.
> The behavior is that when I do a 'setPreserveWhiteSpace(true)' before
> parsing a document, and the document
> contains strings with entity references such as:
>     <element1> &lt; fubar &gt; </element1>
> when I then do a getText() on element1, what is returned is a
> java.lang.String that contains a null (char 0) for each entity
> reference.
> These nulls of course confound the rest of the code I am writing. In
> side the DOM tree the entity reference objects are happily holding the
> appropriate text representation  i.e. '<' and  '>'.
> Turning off white space preservation makes the getText() place
> appropriate decoded entity references in the resulting string.
> Bug or feature?
> erik
> Erik James Freed
> InfoCanvas Software

I don't see a setPreserveWhiteSpace(...) method or preserveWhiteSpace
class or instance variable in the DOM spec and I don't see getText() or
a text variable either. The answer to "bug or feature" would be up to

> datachannel XML parser package


Vance Christiaanse
TextWise, LLC
vance at

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