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   Re: General comments on parsers

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 02:42:12

At 16:14 10/12/97 -0800, Matt Jones wrote:
>Thanks to the parser writers!
>Like Peter, I am working on a project where we are building an XML
>editing application in Java and therefore need access to the content
>model for determining allowable content.  The msxml parser currently

Since my last posting I have been hacking AElfred into JUMBO and it does a
nice job of getting almost everything from the DTD *except* the content.
[It seems to require an external DTD for this - it complains about elements
in the internal subset, although this is the pre-beta version :-)]

>doesn't make its internal representation of the DTD public -- Chris
>Lovett suggested using the XML-Data Schemas instead of trying to access

I am going to post something along these lines tomorrow (I hope).

>the DTD info directly.  When one wants access to the DTD, what is the
>recommended method?  Is there any concensus? Do any of the available
>parsers (Lark, MSXML, NXP, PaxSyn, etc.)  plan on offering access to the
>DTD through their APIs at some point?
>Standardization of APIs (a la XAPI-J) would make life better as well --
>are people working on this (Lark? MSXML? etc?)?

Yes, please. This list (especially John Tigue) worked hard to come up with
Xapi-J - everyone seemed to think it was a good way forward, but no parsers
implement it.  Instead we have an increasing (and rather difficult) variety
of approaches (and especially terminology). For example, it's clear that
AElfred and Lark use 'Entity' in different ways [I'm slightly confused by
Lark's use of Entity]. 

Parsers are NOT equivalent, and there are many reasons why an application
may wish to use more than one.
	- different interfaces, giving different views of the document
	- different optimisations of speed, memory, etc.
	- different treatment of entities
	- different features

It's very tedious to have to implement different interfaces for each
(AElfred has about 30 methods - and they are all valuable). So:
	- Chris
	- David
	- James
	- John
	- Norbert
	- Tim
any comments on a common interface :-)?


Peter Murray-Rust, Director Virtual School of Molecular Sciences, domestic
net connection
VSMS http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms, Virtual Hyperglossary

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