REALLY simple xml reader

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Thu Jan 31 16:50:26 CET 2008

On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 00:40:01 +1100, Ben Finney wrote:

> Quite apart from a human thinking it's pretty or not pretty, it's *not
> valid XML* if the XML declaration isn't immediately at the start of the
> document <URL:>. Many XML
> parsers will (correctly) reject such a document.

You know, I'd really like to know what the designers were thinking when 
they made this decision.

"You know Bob, XML just isn't hostile enough to anyone silly enough to 
believe it's 'human-readable'. What can we do to make it more hostile?"

"Well Fred, how about making the XML declaration completely optional, so 
you can leave it out and still be vald XML, but if you include it, you're 
not allowed to precede it with semantically neutral whitespace?"

"I take my hat off to you."

This is legal XML:

"""<?xml version="1.0"?>
<greeting>Hello, world!</greeting>"""

and so is this:

     <greeting       >Hello, world!</greeting    >"""

but not this:

""" <?xml version="1.0"?>
<greeting>Hello, world!</greeting>"""

You can't get this sort of stuff except out of a committee.


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