[jdom-interest] end-of-line character

Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Thu Jul 6 05:48:56 PDT 2000

At 1:58 PM -0700 7/5/00, Kevin Regan wrote:
>All XML-aware applications that use an XML processor will
>only ever see '\n', correct?  In this case, it does not seem
>to matter how the document is output.  In this event, I guess
>the question should be whether it is more important to output
>the document in a standard way or output it in a way that would
>be useful for viewing by standard text editors/viewers on the
>system that the document is created on.

It's not just XML parsers we have to worry about here. Many other 
tools ranging from simple text editors like emacs to Unix utils like 
cat to GUI FTP programs to custom Java software all have to be able 
to read and write XML files without knowing squat about XML. \r\n is 
the standard line terminator used in more network protocols than 
anything else. Most network software that implements protocols that 
require \r\n (HTTP for example) is fairly forgiving of non-standard 
requests that use \n instead of \r\n but there's always something out 
there that isn't and actually expects authors to adhere to the spec.

Furthermore, it is not acceptable for JDOM output to be platform 
dependent. A simple program that creates a document in memory with no 
user input or random characteristics and serializes it should produce 
byte-for-byte identical output on Windows, the Mac, and Unix. It 
should not change from platform to platform. This is important for 
digital signatures, among other use cases.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo at metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|                  The XML Bible (IDG Books, 1999)                   |
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