Parameter Entity Replacement and the XML 1.0 Grammar

Tony Graham tgraham at
Thu Nov 18 05:36:52 GMT 1999

At 17 Nov 1999 10:24 -0500, G. Ken Holman wrote:
 > Today I started using a validating parser on the source file and it is 
 > choking on the entity declaration.
 > I immediately thought the new parser I was using was at fault, but thought 
 > I'd check XML 1.0 and saw that perhaps parameter entity references are not 
 > allowed according to the grammar:
 > So, my question is:  Does 4.4.8 take precedence over the grammar 
 > productions (the new parser is incorrect), or is the behaviour I am used to 
 > not correct (XT is incorrect)?

4.4.8 also says that "its replacement text is enlarged by the
attachment of one leading and one following space (#x20) character".

 > T:\ftemp>type test.ent
 > <!ENTITY % e "wmf"><!--non .gif extension-->
 > <!NOTATION %e; SYSTEM "">
 > <!ENTITY % filename "'abc.%e;'">

This evaluates to "'abc. wmf '".  According to RFC 2396, spaces aren't
allowed in URIs.  Perhaps the parser is giving a not very useful error
message in response to the spaces in the URI.

What happens when you use:

<!ENTITY % filename "'abc.wmf'">


Tony Graham
Tony Graham                            mailto:tgraham at
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.      
17 West Jefferson Street                    Direct Phone: 301/315-9632
Suite 207                                          Phone: 301/315-9631
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  Mulberry Technologies: A Consultancy Specializing in SGML and XML

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