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RE: DSig & DOM & Databases

You need to differentiate between the meaning of the document and the
lexical representation. The signature works at the lexical level, so
everything is significant. This includes, for example, whether you use
single or double quotes round attribute values. The simple answer is
therefore that you cannot do *any* manipulation of the data. Even reading a
document into a DOM where part of the document is signed, manipulating the
unsigned part, then writing it back could invalidate the signature as the
DOM processing will not preserve the lexical aspects of the document.

That is the bad news. The good news is canonicalization (c14n). By putting
the document into a standard canonicalized form before signing it, you can
manipulate the document later and put it back into the same canonicalized
form. Depending on what you have been doing to the document in the meantime,
this should preserve the validity of the signature. The W3C has a c14n REC

Paul Spencer
CTO, alphaXML Ltd
alphaXML is recruiting XML Consultants
+44 (0)1491 630053

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Coates [mailto:Tony.Coates@reuters.com]
Sent: 03 April 2001 15:59
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: DSig & DOM & Databases

Does anyone have any experience with dealing with digitally signed XML
that are loaded into the DOM or stored in tables in a database?  I'm
in(i) the question of what limited manipulations you can do without
the signature, and (ii) the question of whether you need to keep textual
of all attributes values and element content to be able to regenerate the
original document without invalidating the signature.  All comments

Anthony B. Coates
Leader of XML Architecture & Design
Chief Technology Office
Reuters Plc, London.

        Visit our Internet site at http://www.reuters.com

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