It’s just data

DevCon 5

Chris Sells is at it again.  Applied XML Developers Conference 5.

Hey Chris... do me a favor and change the title of my presentation from "Atom in Depth" to "XML is an attractive nuisance".  Most of the examples will come from my experiences with the feedvalidator, and will cover pretty much the same territory as Atom in Depth did, but to a much deeper level.

XML Parsing Error: undefined entity Location: [link] Line Number 33, Column 32:Chris Sells</a> is at it again.&nbsp;


Posted by Bob Clary at

Bob, I don't know what XML parser you use, but the one I use parses this page just fine:

Python 2.3.2 (#49, Oct  2 2003, 20:02:00) [MSC v.1200 32 bit (Intel)] on win32
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> from urllib import urlopen
>>> from xml.dom import minidom
>>> minidom.parse(urlopen(''))
<xml.dom.minidom.Document instance at 0x009B5940>

The page also displays just fine with Mozilla 1.6.  Can you provide me more information on the environment you are using?

Posted by Sam Ruby at

I'd bet that his XML parser isn't reading the DTD, and therefore isn't picking up the entity definition of "nbsp".

Annoyingly, despite making reference to a DTD where it is defined, various parsers fail when I include the "pound" entity in my posts.

It is an attractive nuisance isn't it?

Posted by Aaron Brady at

If the parser doesn't read the external subset, undefined entities aren't an error. Broken parser?

Posted by Norman Walsh at


Posted by Chris Sells at

I am using Mozilla Thunderbird's RSS reader which must be sending the page to the XML Parser which doesn't read the DTD instead of to the XHTML parser which although it doesn't read the DTD contains definitions for the standard entities.

Norm, thanks for the clarification. I didn't realize that the spec says under "Well-formedness constraint: Entity Declared" that it is an error only if the document is declared as standalone='yes'.

I'll file a bug on it.

Sam, can you remove my email from the earlier post? I didn't want to make it public when commenting.

Posted by Bob Clary at

Bob, I've removed your email.

Any idea why the Thunderbird RSS Reader trying to parse my XHTML page?  Shouldn't it be trying to parse my RSS 1.0/RSS 2.0/Atom 0.3 feed instead?

Posted by Sam Ruby at

I was able to reproduce this error. It seems Thunderbird shows the HTML page instead of the summary in the content pane (by default). I subscribed to your RSS2 feed.

here's a screenshot

Posted by Robert Sayre at

Differences of Humor

Sam Ruby has posted a note about the upcoming Applied XML Conference put on by Chris Sells.

When I looked at the agenda and realized that the conference managed to put together two days worth of presentations without one woman speaker, I was moved ...

... [more]

Trackback from Burningbird at


It appears that the behavior is a feature which parses the feed, displays a list of entries corresponding to the items in the feed, then attempts to load the linked page when the item is selected rather than simply displaying the item directly.

I have filed bug 255747 on Mozilla Thunderbird's issue of loading the page in the Mozilla XML Parser which also suffers from bug 204102.

I uncomfortably find that in this situation I resemble the second example in Why specs matter and can be ignored henceforth.

Posted by Bob Clary at

Women in XML

I saw the following excerpt in Shelley Powers's post entitled Differences of Humor where she wrote Sam Ruby has posted a note about the upcoming Applied XML Conference put on by Chris Sells. When I looked at the agenda and realized that the...

Excerpt from Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life at

Applied XML Dev.Conf. 10/20-21

Chris Sells: Every year it gets harder to pick speakers for the DevCon. This year, I had 4x the number of submissions for which I had available slots. So, while it's hard for me to pick, it makes for a fabulous line up for attendees: For...

Excerpt from RSS at

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