CDATA Section Support (was RE: SAX2 RFD: LexicalHandler draft v.1.1)

Ronald Bourret rbourret at
Wed Mar 24 21:14:20 GMT 1999

David Megginson wrote:

> Ah, yes, but people who edit their XML in a text editor probably would
> be capable of starting a command-line application.  What I'm
> suggesting is that *something* had to be written -- either the simple
> filter or full CDATA support for all DOM applications.  Full CDATA
> support won (love it or leave it), but the other might have been a
> little easier.

Hmmm.  If those are the choices, I vote for putting it in.  Forcing all 
companies to write a quick little application and forcing all users to run 
a quick little application seems far more onerous than forcing DOM 
programmers to work around this.

I wasn't even going to reply, but then I remembered that the real question 
here is whether SAX (not the DOM) should tell people about CDATA sections. 
 I think the answer is yes.  Unlike the DOM, where people not interested in 
CDATA sections still have to work around them, SAX applications that are 
not interested in CDATA sections simply have null implementations of 

The only drawback I see is that applications not interested in CDATA 
sections are forced to suffer through three calls to 
DocumentHandler.character -- before, during, and after the CDATA section. 
 The application can use a filter to solve this, of course, but it's still 
likely to be a source of application errors.  (Depending on how parsers 
implement LexicalHandler callbacks, this could happen even if the 
application doesn't register a LexicalHandler implementation.  Does the 
property requesting a single call to character() apply in this case?  It 
ought to.)

-- Ron

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