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   Re: API versioning in SAX

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  • From: Dean Roddey <roddey@us.ibm.com>
  • To: <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 13:42:33 -0400

"No, because even parsers that support level 1 (the current level)
may vary in their behavior, because non-validating parsers can
produce different things (expand external parsed entities or not,
understand ATTLISTs or not, etc.)  If your application depends on
these things, you need to be able to check whether the parser you
are using does so.

And I do believe that people will replace parsers, as smaller/faster/
better ones come out, in their applications.  A major impetus of
Java is to avoid monolithic apps where the user is stuck with the
app exactly as packaged."

Just to play the devil's advocate, are you sure you are not creating a
technical solution to what everyone is more likely to solve with a
non-technical one? If I'm the administrator of my server or my workstation, and
I see a new SAX driver out there, wouldn't I just read the README before I even
downloaded it to make sure that its capable of doing what my current does (plus
more maybe?) I doubt very seriously I'd just download new drivers and try them
until one fails to fail, ya know? And, even if I did, the fact that it fails to
fail on the 3 apps I have now, doesn't mean it supports what I want to support
on app #4, so I'm going to just read the docs and see what it supports most

Also, once I know what the SAX driver can do, and know that it does what I
need, why would I want my application playing "20 Questions" every time I run
it, when I know what the answer is going to be every time? Why waste the time,
when the kind of situation that you envision might not even happen very often?
Have you really checked and seen how likely people are to blindly use new XML
driver software in such as way as to create the problem you've presented to be

Dean Roddey
Software Weenie
IBM Center for Java Technology - Silicon Valley

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