Dreadfully tedious questions

roddey at us.ibm.com roddey at us.ibm.com
Wed May 5 19:23:11 BST 1999

>>Expat's been well tested.  SP has been even better tested, and unlike
>>Expat, it supports DTD validation; however, SP has a basically
>>undocumented and extremely complicated interface, and it's really a
>>full SGML parser.
>>IBM has a brand-new parser, xml4c++ (I think), at alphaworks.ibm.com.
>>This hasn't had the field testing that Expat and SP have had, but it
>>looks promising.
>xml4c++'s disclaimers ("this software sucks" is the general drift, sort of
>like the mozilla disclaimers) are pretty scary.  Also, how big is the
>redistributable DLL?  (I'm not going to sign their license unless there's a
>chance it'll be small enough to be practical in a plug-in)

Just to protected my honor here...

The intent of any disclaimers is not to say that it sucks by any means. This is
the very first public release, so you can obviously expect it to be a little
less stable and mature than something that's been out for years. But its
certainly not Suckware at all. Its actually quite good, since it draws on three
previous parser efforts, and it will definitely get better.

As to the DLL size, that is partly temporary. We depend upon the ICU (IBM
internationalization classes) for our transcoding services. They have not been
ready to release that as a separate product so far so we physically embedded it
into our stuff. However, very soon they will do so and we will split that out.
They will also be better layering their stuff so that we only have to get the
lowest level parts of it, which are all we need. This will reduce our footprint
as well. And, once the ICU is split out, it will be exposed to the client code
so that they can actually do many useful things with this Unicode text that we
are spitting at them. Right now, we don't expose that ICU interface so you have
to provide the tools to do useful stuff with the resulting XML text in its
Unicode format.

So, on both fronts it will be improving. So judge it on its potential (and its
very flexible and extensible architecture gives it a lot of potential) for what
it will be able to do soon. Give us a couple of Alphaworks releases and we will
get it much cleaner and more conformant.

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