[XML-SIG] Skipped entities under SAX

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Thu Apr 22 14:26:34 EDT 2004

Derek Fountain wrote:
> I've been exploring the PyXML SAX parser, and I've come across the handler for 
> skipped entities. i.e. the skippedEntity method in the ContentHandler object.
> Puzzlement here. What exactly is a skipped entity? It's not mentioned in the 
> XML spec, as far as I can see. The name suggests that it's an entity which 
> the parser comes across and doesn't know how to handle, so it passes over it.

It's a SAX thing, and yes, it is exactly that. It is the implementation
of 4.4.3 of XML 1.0:

If a non-validating processor does not include the replacement text, it 
MUST inform the application that it recognized, but did not read, the 

> I'm only guessing the above, and it seems that the expat parser doesn't 
> entertain such ideas. AFAICT, if it comes across an entity which it doesn't 
> recognise, it throws an error.

Why are you saying this? It works for me just fine:

import xml.sax,xml.sax.handler

class Handler(xml.sax.ContentHandler):
   def skippedEntity(self, e):
     print "Skipping",e

p = xml.sax.make_parser()
h = Handler()
p.setFeature(xml.sax.handler.feature_external_ges, False)
p.feed("<!DOCTYPE foo SYSTEM 'demo.dtd'><foo>&unknown;</foo>")

This prints

Skipping unknown


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