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   Re: Empty element tags in expat

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  • From: Steven Rowe <sarowe@textwise.com>
  • To: Jan- Arve Sæther <jan.arve@birdstep.org>
  • Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 17:26:15 -0400

Jan- Arve Sæther wrote:
> I'm just wondering if expat can preserve empty elements?
> I'm telling expat to parse this little document fragment:
> <?xml version="1.0"?>
> <size height="180" width="70"/>
> It seems that expat will parse it with no complaints
> and output it to my handlers as "size" is stored as a
> start/end-element pair.
> The consequence is that my output document will look like this:
> <?xml version="1.0"?>
> <size height="180" width="70"></size>
> This also seems to be the case for SAX, so I am wondering if there
> is any good reason why it is like this. Simplicity?

The two forms are exactly equivalent.  This is not a parsing problem,
but rather a serialization problem.

In order to support what you want, an event-based parser (Expat, SAX)
would need to: a) read ahead to see whether an element is empty; and
b) emit a different type of event (start-empty-element? or
empty-element (since no start/end)?) from that of the standard
start-element event.  

So I rather suspect that you are correct in assuming that the issue is

Steve Rowe
MNIS-TextWise Labs

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