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   RE: Problems with whitespace and msxml

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  • From: Peter Murray-Rust <peter@ursus.demon.co.uk>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Thu, 01 Jan 1998 23:14:55

At 13:18 01/01/98 -0800, Alexander Hinds wrote:


>Thanks.  Oddly enough, though according to MS' docs:
>Section 2.10 says that xml-space can be specified on any element controlling
>whether white space is preserved or normalized. The default is to normalize
>white space (which means unify all white space characters down to a single
>space). To preserve whitespace set xml-space to preserve, and this is
>inherited down the hierarchy. To switch back to the default, set xml-space
>to default

This is a grey area, and one where I feel the spec gives little guidance.
The spec requires a **processor** (many of us see this as synonymous with
*parser*) to behave in the way that DavidM has described earlier. There is
nothing in the spec describing any whitespace normalisation for the content
of elements [1]. If, therefore, msxml is acting wholly as a "processor" (a
la spec) it would appear *not* to be an XML-compliant processor from what
you have quoted above. If it is a combined processor/application, then it
should not be used as a "parser" or "processor" unless it is possible to
intercept the information at the level of "parser API".

I have been vociferous in wanting to develop conventions for this area, and
this highlights the need for SAX and for conventions. There will clearly be
a demand for an "HTML-like" normalisation of whitespace, but there is no
public move towards defining such a convention. The difficulties that we
are having here will be amplified when there are dozens of
parsers/applications/ with no agreed output.


[1] *Attribute values* may be normalised if they are known not to be CDATA
[3.3.3], but there is no extension to content of elements.

>Well, nomatter what I do it doesn't seem to do anything with the xml-space
>attribute.  Moreover, it doesn't seem to actually set the attribute for any
>of my elements.  For example, getAttribute(...) always returns null for
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