SAX2 RFD: LexicalHandler draft v.1.1

Gavin Thomas Nicol gtn at
Thu Mar 25 13:34:37 GMT 1999

> From: Gavin Thomas Nicol <gtn at>
> >CDATA sections *are* different from normal text, even if only 
> >because the author used them.
> Again, is anyone aware of why CDATA is preserved by the DOM?
> What was the reasoning behind this decision? Other things, like
> whitespace within an element tag or even attribute order, are 
> not preserved. Why then was CDATA? 

Because whitespace within elements is not significant markup, nor
is attribute ordering (though we did have a number of debates over
whether attribute ordering information should be available).

Unlike these, CDATA is *explicit* markup. For many purposes, you
don't need to know about it, but you cannot simply remove it,
because you cannot know why an author put it there. Removing
CDATA would fail the test of least surprise.

Speaking of which, I am continually surprised by SAX's lack of
comment interfaces....

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