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   Finishing SAX

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  • From: David Megginson <ak117@freenet.carleton.ca>
  • To: Xml-Dev List <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 21:13:33 -0400

[I don't think that my first two attempts made it through, so here's a

It's time to finish SAX level 1: many people (both parser and
application writers) have been waiting patiently, and I think that
we're probably well past the 80 part of the 80/20 rule: no matter what
we decide, SAX will be less well suited for some applications and
parsers than for others, and there will certainly be smug comments in
the future about how we got obvious things wrong (the kind of comments
that I, in moments of weakness, have been heard to make about other
people's APIs).

I had originally planned SAX as two tiny interfaces occupying 1 or 2
kilobytes, with extremely limited functionality.  What we've ended up
with is the collective design of the XML membership, which is
considerably larger and more complex than I had originally planned
(though sax.jar file is still only 8,174 bytes long), but also much
more functional and elegant -- it's not what I wanted, but I have to
confess that I like it quite a bit.

I'd like to suggest that we allow a few more days for discussion, then
simply stop at the end of the day next Tuesday (23 April) and give me
the rest of the week (and possibly the weekend) to put together the
final, official SAX level-one release.  If you have issues, speak now,
or forever hold your peace (at least when I'm in the room).  In a
separate message, I'll revisit the issue of byte and character

As soon as we have this out of the way we can start talking about SAX
level 2, which can support non-structural document events (like
comments and CDATA sections), together with much more DTD information
-- I already have some draft interfaces sketched out.

Thanks, and all the best,


David Megginson                 ak117@freenet.carleton.ca
Microstar Software Ltd.         dmeggins@microstar.com

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