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   Re: [xml-dev] Piccolo Java SAX parser and others in the wild?

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At 10:27 AM -0800 2/22/04, Dennis Sosnoski wrote:

>Can you mention what the main flaws are for Piccolo? I've seen a 
>number of companies using it, and from what I remember it's also the 
>basis of the parser used by BEA's NetBeans (now part of Apache, so 
>that may be changing). Many people would consider BEA's main XML 
>infrastructure project to be serious work. :-)

Come here me talk at XML Europe in a couple of months and I'll give 
you the complete rundown on a whole bunch of SAX parsers and exactly 
where each one screws up. But several problems with Piccolo include:

1. Inability to recognize ignorable white space.
2. Use of non-standard ENUMERATION attribute type instead of NMTOKEN
3. Failure to handle document type declarations that only contain a 
root element name
4. Frequent throwing of ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsExceptions when 
encountering various kinds of well-formedness errors
5. It treats <name/> and <name></name> differently. For <name></name> 
it calls characters() between startElement and endElement and sets 
length to 0.

Arguably 1 and 5 are acceptable. I'd love to hear peoples' opinions 
about 5. Is this legitimate?

Those are just the problems I happen to know of off the top of my 
head. As I said, I'll have a more complete list in Amsterdam.

>Piccolo was considerably faster than the Xerces version in use at 
>the time it first came out, but the Xerces team seems to have put 
>more of a focus on performance since then. Recent versions of Xerces 
>look to be about on a par with Piccolo performance.

Xerces has problems of its own, rather large ones in fact. Details in 


   Elliotte Rusty Harold
   Effective XML (Addison-Wesley, 2003)


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