The XML decl is not a PI (especially in SAX)

Liam R. E. Quin liamquin at
Sun Nov 14 14:10:59 GMT 1999

On 14 Nov 1999, David Megginson wrote:
> "Richard Anderson" <rja at> writes:
> > Certainly the SAX parser I use reports the XML declaration as a PI
> > which is obviously very usual.  Is that unusual ?
> That is wrong.  Note the documentation from

> > and, quickly checking
> > the nearest XML book on my desk (XML companion by Neil Bradley) that
> > also says it is a PI.
> That book is also wrong -- please inform the author.

When Ian and I were working on "The XML Specification Guide" last year,
I seem to remember noticing that if there was any leading whte space
or a comment before the XML declaration, it becomes instead a
processing instruction that happens to use the reserved target "xml".

The spec does not explicitly forbid this.

Richard, check that your documents have <?xml... right at the very start.

Any good XML book should make very clear the difference between the
XML declaration and a processing instruction -- I agree wth David!!


Liam Quin, Barefoot Computing, Toronto;  The barefoot agitator
liam at vex . net
co-author, "The XML Specification Guide", Wiley, 1999
Ankh on

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