XML Memory Requirements (was Re: Feeling good about SML)

Michael Champion Mike.Champion at softwareag-usa.com
Thu Nov 18 00:26:50 GMT 1999

----- Original Message -----
From: David Megginson <david at megginson.com>
To: <xml-dev at ic.ac.uk>
Sent: Wednesday, November 17, 1999 5:55 PM
Subject: XML Memory Requirements (was Re: Feeling good about SML)

Thanks for such an informative posting!

> Again, the big problem in creating a tiny XML processor is the
> required error reporting for illegal characters in names, attribute
> values, etc. -- if you build lookup tables, you're looking at an
> enormous amount of memory for each table.

Could you elaborate a bit here for the benefit of those of us who are not
familiar with the finer points of the XML spec with respect to "illegal
characters in names, attribute values, etc."

More procedurally, let's say for the sake of argument that one were
designing an XML-like metalanguage with the goal of making its processors as
small and fast as possible. Are there plausible ways of loosening XML's
"required error reporting" to make it easier to write parsers without big
lookup tables?

Again, this is the voice of inexperience speaking so be merciful if I'm
missing something obvious ... but in an "SML" without entities, attributes,
PIs, and comments, and without any concern for maintaining SGML
compatibility,  I can't think of too many printable characters besides "<"
">" and maybe " " that *have* to be illegal in element names. I can think of
a lot of characters that sensible people probably would not put in their
markup, but that's another matter, and arguably not the job of the SML
parser to enforce.

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