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From "Tal Dayan" <>
Subject [digester] forcing a specific DTD
Date Tue, 13 Nov 2001 17:04:43 GMT

We plan to use Digester for parsing XML based configuration files and would
to use a DTD to save some validation code. From the Digester documentation
it seems that the DTD based validation works as follows, the user specifies
an arbitrary DTD, and digester.parse() makes sure the XML document matches
the user's specified DTD.

We have two problems with this approach:

1. When we parse a file, we know what DTD it should conform to so there is
not need require the user to type it (e.g. when Tomcat reads server.xml, the
user does not care about the DTD, it should be up to Tomcat to do the magic
of validating it).

2. The user can specify arbitrary DTD but we want to validate against a
*specific* DTD. It does not help us much if we know that the XML conforms to
some arbitrary DTD the user specified (this reminds me an old joke, a man is
asked by the bank manager to identify himself, he pull a picture of from his
pocket and says 'that's me').

Any idea how to address these issues ?

A good solution would be example a digester.forceSpecificDTD(...) method
that forces a specific DTD for that instance of the parser. This makes sense
since the digester is configured anyway (via the set of rules) to parse a
specific type of XML document.



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