package similar to XML::Simple

Stuart Bishop stuart.b at commonground.com.au
Thu Feb 12 12:31:49 CET 2004


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On 12/02/2004, at 4:43 AM, Peter Hansen wrote:

>> Not at all. This message indicates a lack of understanding of basic
>> principles of XML on the side of the authors of this error message.
>
> You missed the point I was trying to make Martin, though perhaps it
> is clear now from other messages.
>
> Basically, if I tried to write an XML parser, and distributed it as
> such, and you found that it didn't handle this use case, you would
> be somewhat unfair to write an article claiming that my XML parser was
> in fact not an XML parser.  It has a bug in it, that's all.  I'd fix 
> it!

There is a big difference between a bug and not implementing
a large chunk of the spec for performance.

> The fact that the PyRXP maintainers have apparently refused to fix this
> problem *does* justify the complaint Uche is making, and I support him
> in that now.  I wasn't aware that anyone had even tried reporting the
> problem in the first place and was objection to an apparent 
> overreaction.

This isn't quite correct. ReportLab were more than happy to
take my patch on board, and if you install pyRXP from CVS you
get *two* parsers (pyRXP and pyRXPU). I personally don't
consider pyRXP an XML parser, as it is deliberately lacking what
is in my opinion the single most useful feature of XML (unambiguous
and universal Unicode support). For what Reportlab and others use
if for, however, it is quite sufficient.

It is unfortunate that the release on ReportLab's web site
is way out of date (possibly over a year), but they may have
more pressing concerns, or possibly nobody has even asked.
Not that it is really *their* problem - the code is GPL and
*anybody* with the time could release a fresh package.

> If the presence of a bug in a program means that one cannot label the
> program as being what it is intended to be, then all software would 
> have
> to be released with disclaimers like "this is supposed to be a Python
> interpreter, and might be someday, but isn't yet because there are some
> rare cases where it doesn't correctly interpret Python".

Classifying a lack of Unicode support in an XML parser as a
'bug' is ridiculous. I must admit that I was a bit miffed when
I first tried out 'the fastest validating XML parser around'
and found out it couldn't validate XHTML, ONIX or anything
except trivial examples I coded up - I got the impression that
someone who didn't understand XML had gotten a bit overexcited.
When I looked into it further, it became clear that pyRXP was
not what I would call an XML parser *by design* and that
ReportLab's definition of XML was slightly more flexible than
mine :-)


- --  
Stuart Bishop <stuart at stuartbishop.net>
http://www.stuartbishop.net/
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