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From Gianugo Rabellino <>
Subject SourcepropWritingTransformer
Date Tue, 26 Aug 2003 10:57:58 GMT
I'm about to tackle WebDAV properties handling, and I was happy to find 
that Guido has already provided something. :-)

I am however a bit uncomfortable with the current implementation and I 
wanted to see if it's just me not having the correct approach.

A source property (both in webdav sense and in the  SourceProperty 
implementation) is made of three part: a local name (String), a 
namespace (String) and a value (DOM Element). It's worth noticing that 
the property value is actually the *holder element* plus it's value 
(that is a text node - in case of a string value - or other Elements), 
so that effectively you get, in case of webdav,

<getcontenttype xmlns="DAV:">text/xml</getcontenttype>

a property name of "getcontenttype, a namespace of "DAV:" and a value of 
<getcontenttype xmlns="DAV:">text/xml</getcontenttype>. User space tools 
will then give you a value of "text/xml", but this is a different issue.

All this said, I fail to understand why this transformer is somehow 
reinveinting XML by using this syntax:

<source:prop name="author" namespace="meta">me</source:prop>

which forces, besides, to use a very risky solution to rebuild the property:

   String pre = "<"+name+" xmlns="+quote+namespace+quote+">";
   String post = "</"+name+">";
   String xml = pre+value+post;
   StringReader reader = new StringReader(xml);
   Document doc = parser.parseDocument(new InputSource(reader));
   SourceProperty property = new SourceProperty(doc.getDocumentElement());

One of my biggest no-no is not to use string manipulation to build XML: 
this algo would fail in case the element has any XML reserver characters 
or is an XML property value with nested elements.

What about using good 'ole XML instead? I'm considering something like:

      <myns:author xmlns:myns="meta">me</myns:author>

This would allow using standard Transformer tools (startRecording() 
instead than startTextRecording()) to set the properties later. It would 
be much safer and a good bit more XMLish (and WebDAVish too). Also, this 
modification could be inserted directly into the 
SourceWritingTransformer without requiring a new transformer just to set 

How does it sound? Am I overlooking something?

Gianugo Rabellino
Pro-netics s.r.l. -
Orixo, the XML business alliance -
     (Now blogging at:

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