[XML-SIG] XML-SIG: status, & 0.4 beta release

Andrew M. Kuchling akuchlin@cnri.reston.va.us
Mon, 10 Aug 1998 15:55:55 -0400 (EDT)

This is both a SIG status update, and an informal software
announcement.  Please don't forward this announcement to forums other
than c.l.py.a; in particularly, don't forward it to any XML
development forums.  (XML users who are new to Python may have a tough
time distinguishing between bugs in the beta release and bugs in their
own code -- no point in making things any harder for them.  The final
1.0 version will be widely announced when the time comes.)

XML-SIG status

	Since its inception, the Python XML-SIG has been working on
producing an XML package.  This package is now at version 0.4, which
seems to be ready for beta status; it's reached the state where the
module layout and design seem to be finished, and the software is now
ready for more serious use.  There may (and probably *are*) still bugs
lurking in the code, but the purpose of the beta test period will be
to find and fix them.  This requires that some people pick up the code
and begin intensively using it.

	Currently, the package contains:

	* A Python implementation of the SAX parsing interface
	* xmlproc, an XML parser written in Python.
	* The Expat XML parser (written in C), along with a Python
interface to it.
	* sgmlop, a C extension module that speeds up sgmllib.py and xmllib.py.

A prototype of the Document Object Model (DOM) is also included, but
it's not compliant with the most recent DOM draft, which was released
on July 20.  I'd recommend not using the DOM code at the moment, since
it may be changing in the near future to match the recent draft.

	A set of Web pages have been created to serve as a starting
point for XML processing with Python:

This URL is intended to remain the same for a long time to come, so
feel free to link to it, quote it in articles, or whatever.

	Unicode support for Python is still an open question, one that
will be tackled by the String-SIG in the near future.  Resolving that
will probably have to wait until the next major revision of Python,
and it will probably take longer than version 1.0 of the XML package.

What you can do:

The package structure and module interfaces are essentially finished.
This means that code shouldn't be broken by future beta releases, so
you can begin writing XML handling programs in Python right now.  If
you've been wanting to learn about XML, this is a good chance to
begin, so please download the code and try it out.

You may find bugs in the installation process, support code, or in the
parsing; if you do, please report them to the SIG mailing list,
<xml-sig@python.org>.  We want to make the final 1.0 release as
high-quality as possible, so please report anything, no matter how
trivial.  (You can send private messages to akuchling@acm.org if
you're shy.)

You can download the source code from:

A Debian package is available from:

No one has yet produced binary distributions for Mac, Windows, or
other platforms; hopefully someone will be found to do that for the
final 1.0 version.

For documentation, start at the XML Topic page:

In particular, consult the current draft of the XML HOWTO at:

Please suggest improvements for the documentation and Web pages; send
comments to the XML-SIG mailing list, or to me.  We're also looking
for more demo code to include with future betas; if you write an
interesting XML-based script that isn't too complicated, consider
contributing it as an example program.

Happy (XML) hacking!

A.M. Kuchling			http://starship.skyport.net/crew/amk/
The gods we prayed to when we were young used up their time so long ago. They
cannot answer anymore.
    -- Euryale, in SANDMAN #61: "The Kindly Ones:5"