Peter Murray-Rust peter at
Mon Jan 31 00:06:06 GMT 2000

At 02:25 PM 1/30/00 -0800, Charles Wiltgen wrote:
>I'm a newbie on XML Dev,

We are delighted to have new members on XML-DEV. Just to reassure any
newbies, if you find some of the current discussions are difficult to
understand, don't give up! I was in your position a few years ago [although
I still find some of the stuff hard!].

> here because I've been pushing XML as a standard
>way of representing settings, annotations, etc. in a product called Media
>Cleaner Pro <> (which I'm the product manager for).
>I know more about XML than anyone at our company, which is too say that I
>know almost nothing about XML compared to most of the folks on this list.
>When you see stupid questions from me, please be patient -- my goal is
>purely to Do The Right Thing.   :^)

I have asked some stupid questions in my time! The main thing is to try to
do sufficient initial reading/browsing, but you will always get a courteous
answer from someone. [This is a very helpful community]. And some of the
questions are not as simple as they may look :-). 

>Naturally, we're working on an XML parser.  We've started writing one from
>scratch, but I was wondering if there's something out there that we can use
>as a good starting point for our commercial, cross-platform product?

There are a huge number of parsers. Unless you actually enjoy writing
parsers (and some people do) I would strongly suggest you use one of them.
If you *do* write a parser, you will need to understand XML V1.0 *very*
well. It's not easy reading. I have just written a book review in which I
liken the spec to a parliamentary act - precise, concise and generating
huge amounts of discussion. There are many hundreds of conformance tests
which your parser needs to be measured against.

There are GPL or similar offerings in C++, Java, perl, Python, etc. and
they have been tested by tens of thousands of people. That would be my
first thought, even in a commercial product. 

	Best wishes


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