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Bob Wyman wrote:
> Fortunately, it appears that Objective Systems already provides a
> SAX-like interface for ASN.1 defined binary encodings and OSS Nokalva
> is working on a SAX interface for ASN.1 defined encodings. There is a
> paper that talks about the Objective Systems implementation at:
This is a good thing to point to if you want to convince people that
ASN.1 can't handle "real XML". Where are the attributes, processing
However, assuming all of SAX *could* be implemented...
> Reading the paper, it becomes clear why Objective Systems'
> implementation is "SAX-like" rather than being simply "SAX." The
> issues that caused them to diverge from plain-vanilla SAX are ones
> that will need to be dealt with by any project which attempts to build
> SAX support for binary encodings -- whether they are the ASN.1 defined
> encodings or some new-fangled "binary XML" which might get invented
> (but hopefully not patented...)
> SAX assumes that the data it is reading is all of "character"
> type. SAX has no access to a schema file and thus has no idea of the
> real type of the characters it reads. However, a binary encoding will
> typically pass data in a form more appropriate for its type. Thus, an
> integer will be passed as something like a 32-bit value, not a string
> of characters. So, to build a "pure SAX" interface to a binary
> encoding, you would have to convert all the binary values to
> characters before passing them to the SAX event handlers. Of course,
> the first thing a lot of event handlers will do is convert the strings
> back into binary types like integers. The result is, of course, often
> wasteful silliness. It causes performance problems, memory
> fragmentation due to all the string allocations, etc.
> So, while SAX interfaces to binary encodings allow us to do
> things like use XSLT processors on binary data, they also raise some
> issues about the SAX interface itself. Knowing that people are already
> implementing SAX interfaces to binary data, it probably makes sense to
> carefully consider at this point how to handle this problem so that
> standardized solutions can be implemented. That would be much better
> than each developer or vendor coming up with their own interpretation
> of what SAX for binary encodings looks like.
> There are a number of possible solutions:
> 1. Insist that all binary types be converted to strings.
Well, yes. First implement SAX 2 with no exceptions.
> 2. Define an "extended SAX" that passes data with descriptors
> that show the type of data. Thus, a program would be told the type of
> the data being passed and could call a ToString or ToInteger function
> as needed.
> 3. Provide a "mode switch" which could be called to modify the
> behaviour of SAX. If "StringsOnly" was set to true, then only strings
> would be generated, if "allowTypes" was set, then types would be
> passed by descriptor.
> 4. Other options?
> What makes the most sense here?
If the subject is interoperatility with XML applications, unquestionably
the priority must be to implement SAX 2 as it is.
The extension in 2 above could serve as a useful prototype for a "SAX 3"
that can return non-string values. This API would be helpful both to
ASN.1-encoding users who wish to obtain optimal performance and
XML-encoding users who want to use schema-driven conversion to internal
> bob wyman
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