SAX (Introduction, Recomandations, Future...)

Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Wed Feb 2 09:30:47 GMT 2000

At 07:22 AM 2/1/00 -0500, David Megginson wrote:
>"Jean Georges PERRIN" <jgp at> writes:
>> I've been playing a bit with DOM and understood that DOM is maintained and
>> updated by the W3C.
>> What about SAX ?
>> How did it appear ?
>We built it collaboratively here on XML-Dev.

The history is quoted in valuable detail on the URL that David gives.

>> Who's in charge of it ?
>I am, but not in any legal sense.  SAX is in the Public Domain, so
>there's no legal barrier to stop you (or anyone else) from rereleasing
>the same thing, with or without changes, and calling it SAX or
>anything else.
>So far, the development community has agreed to accept whatever I end
>up releasing as "SAX", provide that there's a lot of discussion
>first. Of course, that could change at any time.

I should add that SAX **code** has a unique namespace defined by,
i.e. the Java classes are of the form org.xml.sax.*

This domain name 'belongs' to Jon Bosak, who gave permission for it to be
used **for the purpose above only**. This does not imply that any SAX
resources are located on any server under that domain and it is my
understanding that this domain name is not available for any similar
purpose. [Have I got this right, Jon?] Nor does it imply any ownership of SAX.

My impression is that most parser writers write SAX-aware code. I am not
aware of compliance tests and I suspect that the API has been sufficiently
well defined and discussed that most SAX implementations "do the right
thing". On the other hand the OASIS/NIST tests showed there is considerable
non-compliance in parsers themselves. Would SAX compliance tests be useful? 

As David says SAX is in the public domain as a de facto protocol/API. It is
up to the community where it goes - if anywhere -  from there. I am sure
that XML-DEV is the right place to discuss it.


>> Where can I find specs, API description, etc. ?

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