SAX2 and XSLT processors

Oren Ben-Kiki oren at
Sun May 23 09:09:10 BST 1999

David Megginson <david at> wrote:

>Oren Ben-Kiki writes:
> > W3C features are different in two important respects. First, these
> > are features one _must_ use to comply with "official standards".
>Actually, that's not the case.  W3C standards may be interdependent,
>but they are not a package deal -- for example, I can use XML with a
>format other than RDF for exchanging metadata (and in the future, RDF
>may use serialization formats other than XML).  I can use Perl, Java,
>Python, DSSSL, or or what-have-you to transform or render XML
>documents without becoming in any way non-conformant.  I can look at
>XML documents through any API (though SAX and the DOM are good for
>general-purpose work), and I can set up linking any way I want.

I didn't say there was no alternative to the W3C "official standards". It is
just that they are, well, "the" standards for doing some things. Nobody
stops you from having your own namespace mechanism either. Does that mean
that SAX2 should omit the namespace feature?

And at any rate, this is besides the point. The fact remains that even if no
one is forced to use W3C recommendations, they are very important to the XML
processing community. To be able to work with more then one SAX2 parser
means there should be an agreed way to request these features. Given that
neither nor will specify these features, who is left?

Another point - the "core" SAX2 specs already define features for some W3C
recommendations (e.g., namespaces). This would seriously discourage people
from accepting W3C features from other agencies (except, of course, from the
W3C itself), since it is reasonable to assume this is "turf". On the
other hand, it seems as though there's a selection process here - namespaces
are in, XLinks are out; DTD validation is in, XSLT processing is out. Is
there a reason for this selection - that is, can you define the
"turf" such a way that given a spec for something we'd know in advance
whether it belongs in the SAX2 "core" or not?

Share & Enjoy,

    Oren Ben-Kiki

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