`server parsed' XML?

David Brownell david-b at pacbell.net
Tue Nov 9 08:16:06 GMT 1999

> That is, say I have a file foo.xml that contains in it:
>    blah, blah, blah &date; blah, blah, blah
> When I read it in on November 15, 1999, I want to get back
>    blah, blah, blah November 15, 1999 blah, blah, blah
> I don't care that the token be &date; ; I just have to be able to say where
> the replaced tokens go.
> How can I do this, if at all, with SAX 1.0 and DOM 1.0 routines,
> specifically as implemented in Sun's Project-X (TR-2) parser?

Two ways come quickly to mind:

(1) <!ENTITY date SYSTEM "http://dateserver/servlet/getdate">

	... and a servlet (or cgi or whatever) that expands
	appropriately.  Assumes a webserver is available,
	but works with any (!) XML parser.

(2) <?builtin-date?>

	... with some processing componenent that knows how
	to expand the 'builtin-date' PI.  Assumes you provide
	custom application code to handle this.

There's the suggestion in the XML spec that (2) be independant of
the actual PI name, perhaps

	<!NOTATION builtin-date SYSTEM "urn:something-built-in">

and the processor keying on that SYSTEM id, so that "builtin-date"
could be anything.  Of course, never build in anything as insecure
as an arbitrary shell escape; and have the processing component
that interprets those PIs generate no output except for a PI that's
inside the root element.

I'd likely use #2, as it's lower overhead.

- Dave

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