Discovering document types - best practice?

james at james at
Thu Jun 24 13:11:21 BST 1999

Dear All,

This may seem like a simple problem, but I can't find any references to how best to solve

I need to process a series of xml documents, which can be in a number of different
formats.  I don't know in advance the type of the documents, only their URLs.  What is the
best way of analysing what type the document is (and how to process it)?  Is there a "best
practice" for this?

For example, should I

1) Try and read the document type declaration?  If so, what function/property should I be
using?  I'm using MS XMLDOM (from IE 5).
2) Try and look for a link to a XML schema?
3) Just start walking the tree looking for particular nodes in a particular order?

Thanks if you can help.

James Carlyle

james at - directory of XML content on the web

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