Package org.xml.sax

This package provides the core SAX APIs.


Interface Summary
Attributes Interface for a list of XML attributes.
ContentHandler Receive notification of the logical content of a document.
DTDHandler Receive notification of basic DTD-related events.
EntityResolver Basic interface for resolving entities.
ErrorHandler Basic interface for SAX error handlers.
Locator Interface for associating a SAX event with a document location.
XMLFilter Interface for an XML filter.
XMLReader Interface for reading an XML document using callbacks.

Class Summary
InputSource A single input source for an XML entity.

Exception Summary
SAXException Encapsulate a general SAX error or warning.
SAXNotRecognizedException Exception class for an unrecognized identifier.
SAXNotSupportedException Exception class for an unsupported operation.
SAXParseException Encapsulate an XML parse error or warning.

Package org.xml.sax Description

This package provides the core SAX APIs. Some SAX1 APIs are deprecated to encourage integration of namespace-awareness into designs of new applications and into maintenance of existing infrastructure.

See for more information about SAX.

SAX2 Standard Feature Flags

One of the essential characteristics of SAX2 is that it added feature flags which can be used to examine and perhaps modify parser modes, in particular modes such as validation. Since features are identified by (absolute) URIs, anyone can define such features. Currently defined standard feature URIs have the prefix before an identifier such as validation. Turn features on or off using setFeature. Those standard identifiers are:

Feature ID Access Default Description
external-general-entities read/write unspecified Reports whether this parser processes external general entities; always true if validating.
external-parameter-entities read/write unspecified Reports whether this parser processes external parameter entities; always true if validating.
is-standalone (parsing) read-only, (not parsing) none not applicable May be examined only during a parse, after the startDocument() callback has been completed; read-only. The value is true if the document specified standalone="yes" in its XML declaration, and otherwise is false.
lexical-handler/parameter-entities read/write unspecified A value of "true" indicates that the LexicalHandler will report the beginning and end of parameter entities.
namespaces read/write true A value of "true" indicates namespace URIs and unprefixed local names for element and attribute names will be available.
namespace-prefixes read/write false A value of "true" indicates that XML qualified names (with prefixes) and attributes (including xmlns* attributes) will be available.
resolve-dtd-uris read/write true A value of "true" indicates that system IDs in declarations will be absolutized (relative to their base URIs) before reporting. (That is the default behavior for all SAX2 XML parsers.) A value of "false" indicates those IDs will not be absolutized; parsers will provide the base URI from Locator.getSystemId(). This applies to system IDs passed in
  • DTDHandler.notationDecl(),
  • DTDHandler.unparsedEntityDecl(), and
  • DeclHandler.externalEntityDecl().
It does not apply to EntityResolver.resolveEntity(), which is not used to report declarations, or to LexicalHandler.startDTD(), which already provides the non-absolutized URI.
string-interning read/write unspecified Has a value of "true" if all XML names (for elements, prefixes, attributes, entities, notations, and local names), as well as Namespace URIs, will have been interned using java.lang.String.intern. This supports fast testing of equality/inequality against string constants, rather than forcing slower calls to String.equals().
unicode-normalization-checking read/write false Controls whether the parser reports Unicode normalization errors as described in section 2.13 and Appendix B of the XML 1.1 Recommendation. If true, Unicode normalization errors are reported using the ErrorHandler.error() callback. Such errors are not fatal in themselves (though, obviously, other Unicode-related encoding errors may be).
use-attributes2 read-only not applicable Returns "true" if the Attributes objects passed by this parser in ContentHandler.startElement() implement the org.xml.sax.ext.Attributes2 interface. That interface exposes additional DTD-related information, such as whether the attribute was specified in the source text rather than defaulted.
use-locator2 read-only not applicable Returns "true" if the Locator objects passed by this parser in ContentHandler.setDocumentLocator() implement the org.xml.sax.ext.Locator2 interface. That interface exposes additional entity information, such as the character encoding and XML version used.
use-entity-resolver2 read/write true Returns "true" if, when setEntityResolver is given an object implementing the org.xml.sax.ext.EntityResolver2 interface, those new methods will be used. Returns "false" to indicate that those methods will not be used.
validation read/write unspecified Controls whether the parser is reporting all validity errors; if true, all external entities will be read.
xmlns-uris read/write false Controls whether, when the namespace-prefixes feature is set, the parser treats namespace declaration attributes as being in the namespace. By default, SAX2 conforms to the original "Namespaces in XML" Recommendation, which explicitly states that such attributes are not in any namespace. Setting this optional flag to "true" makes the SAX2 events conform to a later backwards-incompatible revision of that recommendation, placing those attributes in a namespace.
xml-1.1 read-only not applicable Returns "true" if the parser supports both XML 1.1 and XML 1.0. Returns "false" if the parser supports only XML 1.0.

Support for the default values of the namespaces and namespace-prefixes properties is required. Support for any other feature flags is entirely optional.

For default values not specified by SAX2, each XMLReader implementation specifies its default, or may choose not to expose the feature flag. Unless otherwise specified here, implementations may support changing current values of these standard feature flags, but not while parsing.

SAX2 Standard Handler and Property IDs

For parser interface characteristics that are described as objects, a separate namespace is defined. The objects in this namespace are again identified by URI, and the standard property URIs have the prefix before an identifier such as lexical-handler or dom-node. Manage those properties using setProperty(). Those identifiers are:

Property ID Description
declaration-handler Used to see most DTD declarations except those treated as lexical ("document element name is ...") or which are mandatory for all SAX parsers (DTDHandler). The Object must implement org.xml.sax.ext.DeclHandler.
document-xml-version May be examined only during a parse, after the startDocument() callback has been completed; read-only. This property is a literal string describing the actual XML version of the document, such as "1.0" or "1.1".
dom-node For "DOM Walker" style parsers, which ignore their parser.parse() parameters, this is used to specify the DOM (sub)tree being walked by the parser. The Object must implement the org.w3c.dom.Node interface.
lexical-handler Used to see some syntax events that are essential in some applications: comments, CDATA delimiters, selected general entity inclusions, and the start and end of the DTD (and declaration of document element name). The Object must implement org.xml.sax.ext.LexicalHandler.
xml-string Readable only during a parser callback, this exposes a TBS chunk of characters responsible for the current event.

All of these standard properties are optional; XMLReader implementations need not support them.

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