Parser compliance

David Megginson david at
Wed Nov 17 01:37:27 GMT 1999

Sean Mc Grath <digitome at> writes:

> Does anyone knowledgeable in the minutia of XML compliance care to
> list the extant parsers and put them into fully XML 1.0 compliant
> and non-XML 1.0 compliant camps?

Well, Expat is drop-dead, shoot-your-dog-if-it-ain't conformant, which
means that pretty much every XML implementation in Perl, C, and C++
(including Mozilla) is conformant (along with many in Python).  As far
as I've seen, XT is conformant as well.

I trust that Lark is conformant, or Tim wouldn't have put his neck on
the block by asking the question in the first place.  Likewise, David
Brownell is pretty fierce about conformance, so I imagine that Sun's
XML library (which he wrote before he left Sun) is pretty much on the

I haven't looked in detail at Matt's latest AElfred versions, but when
I wrote it AElfred wass non-conformant only in its error reporting --
it will never (to my knowledge) reject a well-formed document, but
under certain circumstances, it may accept a documents that are not

Microsoft's parsers -- both Java and C++, embedded and stand-alone --
have never, to my knowledge, been fully conformant, though many of the 
problems are relatively obscure (for example, they all reject text
declarations without a 'version' pseudo-attribute).

IBM's implementations (XML4J and XML4C++) are so big that I haven't
really taken the time to check in detail.  I also haven't had a chance 
to test Oracle's yet.

How's that for a start?  I know that OASIS has been working on a
general conformance test suite -- it might also be nice if XML Dev'ers 
put some of their energy into a SAX conformance test suite.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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