Announcement: SAX - Simple API for XML (1998-01-12 Draft)

From Mon Jan 12 09:00:28 1998
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 09:52:10 -0500
From: David Megginson <>
Subject: Announcement: SAX 1998-01-12 Draft

I am happy to announce the first draft of SAX, the Simple API for XML, together with a Java reference implementation and drivers for the major Java-based XML parsers.

SAX is a simple, common, event-based API for XML parsers written in object-oriented languages like Java, C++, or Perl5 (the reference implementation is in Java). SAX is similar in philosophy to JavaSoft's JDBC -- it allows you to write an application once, then plug in any XML parser that has a SAX driver, just as the JDBC allows you to plug in any SQL database that has a JDBC driver. The SAX API was developed collaboratively during a month of discussion on the XML-DEV mailing list.

As an event-based interface, SAX is complementary to the proposed (tree-based) Document Object Model interface; in fact, it should be possible to implement a basic DOM interface on top of SAX, or a basic SAX interface on top of DOM. Event-based interfaces provide very simple, low-level access to parsing events, without straining system resources.

For SAX documentation, a draft spec, a reference implementation of the SAX interfaces in Java, SAX front-end drivers for the major Java XML parsers (NXP, Lark, MSXML, and Ælfred), and a sample SAX application, please see:

I would like people to play with this for a month or two, during which time I'll collect suggestions and bug reports; after that, with luck, we can come up with a final draft. I may continue to work on the SAX drivers during that time, but I want to leave the rest alone for a while.

All the best,


David Megginson       
Microstar Software Ltd.

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