Re: XSL vs. XSLT and processors vs. parsers

Subject: Re: XSL vs. XSLT and processors vs. parsers
From: AndrewWatt2000@xxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 17:17:51 EDT
In a message dated 20/09/00 21:32:30 GMT Daylight Time, 
wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

> An "XML processor" is a software program that does something with XML
>  documents. These documents may be input to the program either as static
>  entities in the notation described in the XML Recommendation (that is,
>  files using tags following the XML definition of "well-formed"), or more
>  generally, as "documents" constructed through some other method (for
>  example, presented by some other application as a pre-built DOM tree, or
>  fired as a series of SAX events). Accordingly, the term "XML Processor" is
>  somewhat loose with respect to its input, and wide open with respect to its
>  operations or output.


Thanks for the response.

I doubt that the authors of the XML 1.0 Recommendation thought of an XML 
processor in the diffuse way that you refer to. 

The XML 1.0 Recommendation can be viewed as a description of how an XML 
processor is required to behave, assuming it is conforming.

For example, in Section 1 it is stated, "This specification describes the 
required behavior of an XML processor in terms of how it must read XML data 
and the information it must provide to the application.". In Section 5.1 of 
the XML 1.0 Recommendation, for example, there is a reference to validating 
and non-validating conforming XML processors. 

The XML 1.0 Recommendation describes how a conforming XML processor must 
behave as well as describing behaviour which is optional.

>  Perhaps the real savants on this list will weigh in if I've misstated
>  anything. Note that this take on it differs from what Andrew Watt said on
>  this list (an XML processor and XML parser are "one and the same"). I am
>  making a distinction between them, related to a distinction I am making
>  between software that does something with XML-the-notation (a processor
>  which must be or contain a parser), and software that does something with
>  XML-a-data-model (a processor which does not necessarily have a parser,
>  like an XSLT processor, though it may sit downstream from one).
>  Cheers,
>  Wendell

Wendell, I guess I am excluded by implication from the category of "real 
savant". <grin>

The XML 1.0 Recommendation has a lot to say about the behaviour of a 
conforming XML processor. If after reviewing the usage of the term "XML 
processor" in the XML 1.0 Recommendation you still want to argue that there 
is a distinction between an XML processor and an XML parser then I would be 
interested in your rationale.

Perhaps you could also account for the seamless movement of reference to 
"processor" to "parser" in Appendix E of the Recommendation.

It is always interesting to discuss such issues, to try to determine what the 
authors of the specification intended.

Andrew Watt

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