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Re: emacs and libxml2 (for emacs w3)

From: James Clark
Subject: Re: emacs and libxml2 (for emacs w3)
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 18:14:14 +0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.2.1) Gecko/20030225

Richard Stallman wrote:

We could make Emacs link with it if that is technically a good idea.

It does not seem a technically good idea to me. I think it's much better to have a XML library designed specifically to work with Emacs from the start and I see no compelling reason for it to be in C. Using a general-purpose XML parser like libxml2 would be very limiting. For example, an Emacs-specific parser can be designed to take advantage of the after-change-functions hook and do incremental parsing and validation. A typical general-purpose parser like libxml2 is not designed to do this sort of thing.

For the last few months, I've been working on new XML support for Emacs. There's a user-oriented overview of the initial release at:


It's built on top of a low-level XML parsing layer that's designed to support a broad range of different kinds of XML processing that are useful in Emacs, such as

- font lock

- XML syntax aware editing (functionality like parse-partial-sexp for XML)

- incremental validation to support context/schema-sensitive completion (like PSGML)

- doing what xml.el does (i.e. parsing XML into a list form that is convenient for further processing in Lisp)

It's still early days, but I think this is technically a better direction that linking to a general-purpose XML library like libxml2.


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