Document Information

Preface

1.  Introduction to JAXP

2.  Simple API for XML

3.  Document Object Model

4.  Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations

5.  Streaming API for XML

Why StAX?

Streaming versus DOM

Pull Parsing versus Push Parsing

StAX Use Cases

Comparing StAX to Other JAXP APIs

StAX API

Cursor API

Iterator API

Iterator Event Types

Example of Event Mapping

Choosing between Cursor and Iterator APIs

Development Goals

Comparing Cursor and Iterator APIs

Using StAX

StAX Factory Classes

XMLInputFactory

XMLOutputFactory

XMLEventFactory

Resources, Namespaces, and Errors

Resource Resolution

Attributes and Namespaces

Error Reporting and Exception Handling

Reading XML Streams

Using XMLStreamReader

Reading Properties, Attributes, and Namespaces

XMLStreamReader Methods

Instantiating an XMLStreamReader

Using XMLEventReader

Reading Attributes

Reading Namespaces

Writing XML Streams

Using XMLStreamWriter

Using XMLEventWriter

Attributes, Escaping Characters, Binding Prefixes

Sun's Streaming XML Parser Implementation

Reporting CDATA Events

Streaming XML Parser Factories Implementation

Example Code

Example Code Organization

Example XML Document

Cursor Example

Stepping through Events

Returning String Representations

To Run the Cursor Example

Cursor-to-Event Example

Instantiating an XMLEventAllocator

Creating an Event Iterator

Creating the Allocator Method

To Run the Cursor-to-Event Example

Event Example

Creating an Input Factory

Creating an Event Reader

Creating an Event Iterator

Getting the Event Stream

Returning the Output

To Run the Event Example

Filter Example

Implementing the StreamFilter Class

Creating an Input Factory

Creating the Filter

Capturing the Event Stream

Filtering the Stream

Returning the Output

To Run the Filter Example

Read-and-Write Example

Creating an Event Producer/Consumer

Creating an Iterator

Creating a Writer

Returning the Output

To Run the Read-and-Write Example

Writer Example

Creating the Output Factory

Creating a Stream Writer

Writing the Stream

Returning the Output

To Run the Writer Example

Further Information

 
Java API for XML Processing (JAXP) Tutorial

Chapter 5

Streaming API for XML

This chapter focuses on the Streaming API for XML (StAX), a streaming Java-based, event-driven, pull-parsing API for reading and writing XML documents. StAX enables you to create bidrectional XML parsers that are fast, relatively easy to program, and have a light memory footprint.

Why StAX?

The StAX project was spearheaded by BEA with support from Sun Microsystems, and the JSR 173 specification passed the Java Community Process final approval ballot in March, 2004 ( http://jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=173). The primary goal of the StAX API is to give “parsing control to the programmer by exposing a simple iterator based API. This allows the programmer to ask for the next event (pull the event) and allows state to be stored in procedural fashion.” StAX was created to address limitations in the two most prevalent parsing APIs, SAX and DOM.

Streaming versus DOM

Generally speaking, there are two programming models for working with XML infosets: streaming and the document object model (DOM).

The DOM model involves creating in-memory objects representing an entire document tree and the complete infoset state for an XML document. Once in memory, DOM trees can be navigated freely and parsed arbitrarily, and as such provide maximum flexibility for developers. However, the cost of this flexibility is a potentially large memory footprint and significant processor requirements, because the entire representation of the document must be held in memory as objects for the duration of the document processing. This may not be an issue when working with small documents, but memory and processor requirements can escalate quickly with document size.

Streaming refers to a programming model in which XML infosets are transmitted and parsed serially at application runtime, often in real time, and often from dynamic sources whose contents are not precisely known beforehand. Moreover, stream-based parsers can start generating output immediately, and infoset elements can be discarded and garbage collected immediately after they are used. While providing a smaller memory footprint, reduced processor requirements, and higher performance in certain situations, the primary trade-off with stream processing is that you can only see the infoset state at one location at a time in the document. You are essentially limited to the “cardboard tube” view of a document, the implication being that you need to know what processing you want to do before reading the XML document.

Streaming models for XML processing are particularly useful when your application has strict memory limitations, as with a cellphone running the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME platform), or when your application needs to process several requests simultaneously, as with an application server. In fact, it can be argued that the majority of XML business logic can benefit from stream processing, and does not require the in-memory maintenance of entire DOM trees.

Pull Parsing versus Push Parsing

Streaming pull parsing refers to a programming model in which a client application calls methods on an XML parsing library when it needs to interact with an XML infoset—that is, the client only gets (pulls) XML data when it explicitly asks for it.

Streaming push parsing refers to a programming model in which an XML parser sends (pushes) XML data to the client as the parser encounters elements in an XML infoset—that is, the parser sends the data whether or not the client is ready to use it at that time.

Pull parsing provides several advantages over push parsing when working with XML streams:

  • With pull parsing, the client controls the application thread, and can call methods on the parser when needed. By contrast, with push processing, the parser controls the application thread, and the client can only accept invocations from the parser.

  • Pull parsing libraries can be much smaller and the client code to interact with those libraries much simpler than with push libraries, even for more complex documents.

  • Pull clients can read multiple documents at one time with a single thread.

  • A StAX pull parser can filter XML documents such that elements unnecessary to the client can be ignored, and it can support XML views of non-XML data.

StAX Use Cases

The StAX specification defines a number of use cases for the API:

  • Data binding

    • Unmarshalling an XML document

    • Marshalling an XML document

    • Parallel document processing

    • Wireless communication

  • Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) message processing

    • Parsing simple predictable structures

    • Parsing graph representations with forward references

    • Parsing Web Services Description Language (WSDL)

  • Virtual data sources

    • Viewing as XML data stored in databases

    • Viewing data in Java objects created by XML data binding

    • Navigating a DOM tree as a stream of events

  • Parsing specific XML vocabularies

  • Pipelined XML processing

A complete discussion of all these use cases is beyond the scope of this chapter. Please refer to the StAX specification for further information.

Comparing StAX to Other JAXP APIs

As an API in the JAXP family, StAX can be compared, among other APIs, to SAX, TrAX, and JDOM. Of the latter two, StAX is not as powerful or flexible as TrAX or JDOM, but neither does it require as much memory or processor load to be useful, and StAX can, in many cases, outperform the DOM-based APIs. The same arguments outlined above, weighing the cost/benefits of the DOM model versus the streaming model, apply here.

With this in mind, the closest comparisons can be made between StAX and SAX, and it is here that StAX offers features that are beneficial in many cases; some of these include:

  • StAX-enabled clients are generally easier to code than SAX clients. While it can be argued that SAX parsers are marginally easier to write, StAX parser code can be smaller and the code necessary for the client to interact with the parser simpler.

  • StAX is a bidirectional API, meaning that it can both read and write XML documents. SAX is read only, so another API is needed if you want to write XML documents.

  • SAX is a push API, whereas StAX is pull. The trade-offs between push and pull APIs outlined above apply here.

Table 5-1 summarizes the comparative features of StAX, SAX, DOM, and TrAX (table adapted from “Does StAX Belong in Your XML Toolbox?” at http://www.developer.com/xml/article.php/3397691 by Jeff Ryan).

Table 5-1 XML Parser API Feature Summary

Feature

StAX

SAX

DOM

TrAX

API Type

Pull, streaming

Push, streaming

In memory tree

XSLT Rule

Ease of Use

High

Medium

High

Medium

XPath Capability

No

No

Yes

Yes

CPU and Memory Efficiency

Good

Good

Varies

Varies

Forward Only

Yes

Yes

No

No

Read XML

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Write XML

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Create, Read, Update, Delete

No

No

Yes

No

StAX API

The StAX API exposes methods for iterative, event-based processing of XML documents. XML documents are treated as a filtered series of events, and infoset states can be stored in a procedural fashion. Moreover, unlike SAX, the StAX API is bidirectional, enabling both reading and writing of XML documents.

The StAX API is really two distinct API sets: a cursor API and an iterator API. These two API sets are explained in greater detail later in this chapter, but their main features are briefly described below.

Cursor API

As the name implies, the StAX cursor API represents a cursor with which you can walk an XML document from beginning to end. This cursor can point to one thing at a time, and always moves forward, never backward, usually one infoset element at a time.

The two main cursor interfaces are XMLStreamReader and XMLStreamWriter. XMLStreamReader includes accessor methods for all possible information retrievable from the XML Information model, including document encoding, element names, attributes, namespaces, text nodes, start tags, comments, processing instructions, document boundaries, and so forth; for example:

public interface XMLStreamReader {
    public int next() throws XMLStreamException;
    public boolean hasNext() throws XMLStreamException;
    public String getText();
    public String getLocalName();
    public String getNamespaceURI();
    // ... other methods not shown
}

You can call methods on XMLStreamReader, such as getText and getName, to get data at the current cursor location. XMLStreamWriter provides methods that correspond to StartElement and EndElement event types; for example:

public interface XMLStreamWriter {
    public void writeStartElement(String localName) 
        throws XMLStreamException;
    public void writeEndElement() 
        throws XMLStreamException;
    public void writeCharacters(String text) 
        throws XMLStreamException;
// ... other methods not shown
}

The cursor API mirrors SAX in many ways. For example, methods are available for directly accessing string and character information, and integer indexes can be used to access attribute and namespace information. As with SAX, the cursor API methods return XML information as strings, which minimizes object allocation requirements.

Iterator API

The StAX iterator API represents an XML document stream as a set of discrete event objects. These events are pulled by the application and provided by the parser in the order in which they are read in the source XML document.

The base iterator interface is called XMLEvent, and there are subinterfaces for each event type listed in Table 5-2. The primary parser interface for reading iterator events is XMLEventReader, and the primary interface for writing iterator events is XMLEventWriter. The XMLEventReader interface contains five methods, the most important of which is nextEvent, which returns the next event in an XML stream. XMLEventReader implements java.util.Iterator, which means that returns from XMLEventReader can be cached or passed into routines that can work with the standard Java Iterator; for example:

public interface XMLEventReader extends Iterator {
    public XMLEvent nextEvent() throws XMLStreamException;
    public boolean hasNext();
    public XMLEvent peek() throws XMLStreamException;
    ...
}

Similarly, on the output side of the iterator API, you have:

public interface XMLEventWriter {
    public void flush() throws XMLStreamException;
    public void close() throws XMLStreamException;
    public void add(XMLEvent e) throws XMLStreamException;
    public void add(Attribute attribute) throws XMLStreamException;
    ...
}
Iterator Event Types

Table 5-2 lists the XMLEvent types defined in the event iterator API.

Table 5-2 XMLEvent Types

Event Type

Description

StartDocument

Reports the beginning of a set of XML events, including encoding, XML version, and standalone properties.

StartElement

Reports the start of an element, including any attributes and namespace declarations; also provides access to the prefix, namespace URI, and local name of the start tag.

EndElement

Reports the end tag of an element. Namespaces that have gone out of scope can be recalled here if they have been explicitly set on their corresponding StartElement.

Characters

Corresponds to XML CData sections and CharacterData entities. Note that ignorable white space and significant white space are also reported as Character events.

EntityReference

Character entities can be reported as discrete events, which an application developer can then choose to resolve or pass through unresolved. By default, entities are resolved. Alternatively, if you do not want to report the entity as an event, replacement text can be substituted and reported as Characters.

ProcessingInstruction

Reports the target and data for an underlying processing instruction.

Comment

Returns the text of a comment.

EndDocument

Reports the end of a set of XML events.

DTD

Reports as java.lang.String information about the DTD, if any, associated with the stream, and provides a method for returning custom objects found in the DTD.

Attribute

Attributes are generally reported as part of a StartElement event. However, there are times when it is desirable to return an attribute as a standalone Attribute event; for example, when a namespace is returned as the result of an XQuery or XPath expression.

Namespace

As with attributes, namespaces are usually reported as part of a StartElement, but there are times when it is desirable to report a namespace as a discrete Namespace event.

Note that the DTD, EntityDeclaration, EntityReference, NotationDeclaration, and ProcessingInstruction events are only created if the document being processed contains a DTD.

Example of Event Mapping

As an example of how the event iterator API maps an XML stream, consider the following XML document:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<BookCatalogue xmlns="http://www.publishing.org">
    <Book>
        <Title>Yogasana Vijnana: the Science of Yoga</Title>
        <ISBN>81-40-34319-4</ISBN>
        <Cost currency="INR">11.50</Cost>
    </Book>
</BookCatalogue>

This document would be parsed into eighteen primary and secondary events, as shown in Table 5-3. Note that secondary events, shown in curly braces ( {}), are typically accessed from a primary event rather than directly.

Table 5-3 Example of Iterator API Event Mapping

#

Element/Attribute

Event

1

version="1.0"

StartDocument

2

isCData = false
data = "\n"
IsWhiteSpace = true

Characters

3

qname = BookCatalogue:http://www.publishing.org
attributes = null
namespaces = {BookCatalogue" -> http://www.publishing.org"}

StartElement

4

qname = Book
attributes = null
namespaces = null

StartElement

5

qname = Title
attributes = null
namespaces = null

StartElement

6

isCData = false
data = "Yogasana Vijnana: the Science of Yoga\n\t"
IsWhiteSpace = false

Characters

7

qname = Title
namespaces = null

EndElement

8

qname = ISBN
attributes = null
namespaces = null

StartElement

9

isCData = false
data = "81-40-34319-4\n\t"
IsWhiteSpace = false

Characters

10

qname = ISBN
namespaces = null

EndElement

11

qname = Cost
attributes = {"currency" -> INR}
namespaces = null

StartElement

12

isCData = false
data = "11.50\n\t"
IsWhiteSpace = false

Characters

13

qname = Cost
namespaces = null

EndElement

14

isCData = false
data = "\n"
IsWhiteSpace = true

Characters

15

qname = Book
namespaces = null

EndElement

16

isCData = false
data = "\n"
IsWhiteSpace = true

Characters

17

qname = BookCatalogue:http://www.publishing.org
namespaces = {BookCatalogue" -> http://www.publishing.org"}

EndElement

18

 

EndDocument

There are several important things to note in this example:

  • The events are created in the order in which the corresponding XML elements are encountered in the document, including nesting of elements, opening and closing of elements, attribute order, document start and document end, and so forth.

  • As with proper XML syntax, all container elements have corresponding start and end events; for example, every StartElement has a corresponding EndElement, even for empty elements.

  • Attribute events are treated as secondary events, and are accessed from their corresponding StartElement event.

  • Similar to Attribute events, Namespace events are treated as secondary, but appear twice and are accessible twice in the event stream, first from their corresponding StartElement and then from their corresponding EndElement.

  • Character events are specified for all elements, even if those elements have no character data. Similarly, Character events can be split across events.

  • The StAX parser maintains a namespace stack, which holds information about all XML namespaces defined for the current element and its ancestors. The namespace stack, which is exposed through the javax.xml.namespace.NamespaceContext interface, can be accessed by namespace prefix or URI.

Choosing between Cursor and Iterator APIs

It is reasonable to ask at this point, “What API should I choose? Should I create instances of XMLStreamReader or XMLEventReader? Why are there two kinds of APIs anyway?”

Development Goals

The authors of the StAX specification targeted three types of developers:

  • Library and infrastructure developers: Create application servers, JAXM, JAXB, JAX-RPC and similar implementations; need highly efficient, low-level APIs with minimal extensibility requirements.

  • Java ME developers: Need small, simple, pull-parsing libraries, and have minimal extensibility needs.

  • Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) developers: Need clean, efficient pull-parsing libraries, plus need the flexibility to both read and write XML streams, create new event types, and extend XML document elements and attributes.

Given these wide-ranging development categories, the StAX authors felt it was more useful to define two small, efficient APIs rather than overloading one larger and necessarily more complex API.

Comparing Cursor and Iterator APIs

Before choosing between the cursor and iterator APIs, you should note a few things that you can do with the iterator API that you cannot do with the cursor API:

  • Objects created from the XMLEvent subclasses are immutable, and can be used in arrays, lists, and maps, and can be passed through your applications even after the parser has moved on to subsequent events.

  • You can create subtypes of XMLEvent that are either completely new information items or extensions of existing items but with additional methods.

  • You can add and remove events from an XML event stream in much simpler ways than with the cursor API.

Similarly, keep some general recommendations in mind when making your choice:

  • If you are programming for a particularly memory-constrained environment, like Java ME, you can make smaller, more efficient code with the cursor API.

  • If performance is your highest priority—for example, when creating low-level libraries or infrastructure—the cursor API is more efficient.

  • If you want to create XML processing pipelines, use the iterator API.

  • If you want to modify the event stream, use the iterator API.

  • If you want your application to be able to handle pluggable processing of the event stream, use the iterator API.

  • In general, if you do not have a strong preference one way or the other, using the iterator API is recommended because it is more flexible and extensible, thereby “future-proofing” your applications.

Using StAX

In general, StAX programmers create XML stream readers, writers, and events by using the XMLInputFactory, XMLOutputFactory, and XMLEventFactory classes. Configuration is done by setting properties on the factories, whereby implementation-specific settings can be passed to the underlying implementation using the setProperty method on the factories. Similarly, implementation-specific settings can be queried using the getProperty factory method.

The XMLInputFactory, XMLOutputFactory, and XMLEventFactory classes are described below, followed by discussions of resource allocation, namespace and attribute management, error handling, and then finally reading and writing streams using the cursor and iterator APIs.

StAX Factory Classes

The StAX factory classes. XMLInputFactory, XMLOutputFactory, and XMLEventFactory, let you define and configure implementation instances of XML stream reader, stream writer, and event classes.

XMLInputFactory

The XMLInputFactory class lets you configure implementation instances of XML stream reader processors created by the factory. New instances of the abstract class XMLInputFactory are created by calling the newInstance method on the class. The static method XMLInputFactory.newInstance is then used to create a new factory instance.

Deriving from JAXP, the XMLInputFactory.newInstance method determines the specific XMLInputFactory implementation class to load by using the following lookup procedure:

  1. Use the javax.xml.stream.XMLInputFactory system property.

  2. Use the lib/xml.stream.properties file in the Java SE platform's Java Runtime Environment (JRE) directory.

  3. Use the Services API, if available, to determine the classname by looking in the META-INF/services/javax.xml.stream.XMLInputFactory files in JAR files available to the JRE.

  4. Use the platform default XMLInputFactory instance.

After getting a reference to an appropriate XMLInputFactory, an application can use the factory to configure and create stream instances. Table 5-4 lists the properties supported by XMLInputFactory. See the StAX specification for a more detailed listing.

Table 5-4 javax.xml.stream.XMLInputFactory Properties

Property

Description

isValidating

Turns on implementation-specific validation.

isCoalescing

(Required) Requires the processor to coalesce adjacent character data.

isNamespaceAware

Turns off namespace support. All implementations must support namespaces. Support for non-namespace-aware documents is optional.

isReplacingEntityReferences

(Required) Requires the processor to replace internal entity references with their replacement value and report them as characters or the set of events that describe the entity.

isSupportingExternalEntities

(Required) Requires the processor to resolve external parsed entities.

reporter

(Required) Sets and gets the implementation of the XMLReporter interface.

resolver

(Required) Sets and gets the implementation of the XMLResolver interface.

allocator

(Required) Sets and gets the implementation of the XMLEventAllocator interface.

XMLOutputFactory

New instances of the abstract class XMLOutputFactory are created by calling the newInstance method on the class. The static method XMLOutputFactory.newInstance is then used to create a new factory instance. The algorithm used to obtain the instance is the same as for XMLInputFactory but references the javax.xml.stream.XMLOutputFactory system property.

XMLOutputFactory supports only one property, javax.xml.stream.isRepairingNamespaces. This property is required, and its purpose is to create default prefixes and associate them with Namespace URIs. See the StAX specification for more information.

XMLEventFactory

New instances of the abstract class XMLEventFactory are created by calling the newInstance method on the class. The static method XMLEventFactory.newInstance is then used to create a new factory instance. This factory references the javax.xml.stream.XMLEventFactory property to instantiate the factory. The algorithm used to obtain the instance is the same as for XMLInputFactory and XMLOutputFactory but references the javax.xml.stream.XMLEventFactory system property.

There are no default properties for XMLEventFactory.

Resources, Namespaces, and Errors

The StAX specification handles resource resolution, attributes and namespace, and errors and exceptions as described below.

Resource Resolution

The XMLResolver interface provides a means to set the method that resolves resources during XML processing. An application sets the interface on XMLInputFactory, which then sets the interface on all processors created by that factory instance.

Attributes and Namespaces

Attributes are reported by a StAX processor using lookup methods and strings in the cursor interface, and Attribute and Namespace events in the iterator interface. Note here that namespaces are treated as attributes, although namespaces are reported separately from attributes in both the cursor and iterator APIs. Note also that namespace processing is optional for StAX processors. See the StAX specification for complete information about namespace binding and optional namespace processing.

Error Reporting and Exception Handling

All fatal errors are reported by way of the javax.xml.stream.XMLStreamException interface. All nonfatal errors and warnings are reported using the javax.xml.stream.XMLReporter interface.

Reading XML Streams

As described earlier in this chapter, the way you read XML streams with a StAX processor—and more importantly, what you get back—varies significantly depending on whether you are using the StAX cursor API or the event iterator API. The following two sections describe how to read XML streams with each of these APIs.

Using XMLStreamReader

The XMLStreamReader interface in the StAX cursor API lets you read XML streams or documents in a forward direction only, one item in the infoset at a time. The following methods are available for pulling data from the stream or skipping unwanted events:

  • Get the value of an attribute

  • Read XML content

  • Determine whether an element has content or is empty

  • Get indexed access to a collection of attributes

  • Get indexed access to a collection of namespaces

  • Get the name of the current event (if applicable)

  • Get the content of the current event (if applicable)

Instances of XMLStreamReader have at any one time a single current event on which its methods operate. When you create an instance of XMLStreamReader on a stream, the initial current event is the START_DOCUMENT state. The XMLStreamReader.next method can then be used to step to the next event in the stream.

Reading Properties, Attributes, and Namespaces

The XMLStreamReader.next method loads the properties of the next event in the stream. You can then access those properties by calling the XMLStreamReader.getLocalName and XMLStreamReader.getText methods.

When the XMLStreamReader cursor is over a StartElement event, it reads the name and any attributes for the event, including the namespace. All attributes for an event can be accessed using an index value, and can also be looked up by namespace URI and local name. Note, however, that only the namespaces declared on the current StartEvent are available; previously declared namespaces are not maintained, and redeclared namespaces are not removed.

XMLStreamReader Methods

XMLStreamReader provides the following methods for retrieving information about namespaces and attributes:

int getAttributeCount();
String getAttributeNamespace(int index);
String getAttributeLocalName(int index);
String getAttributePrefix(int index);
String getAttributeType(int index);
String getAttributeValue(int index);
String getAttributeValue(String namespaceUri, String localName);
boolean isAttributeSpecified(int index);

Namespaces can also be accessed using three additional methods:

int getNamespaceCount();
String getNamespacePrefix(int index);
String getNamespaceURI(int index);
Instantiating an XMLStreamReader

This example, taken from the StAX specification, shows how to instantiate an input factory, create a reader, and iterate over the elements of an XML stream:

XMLInputFactory f = XMLInputFactory.newInstance();
XMLStreamReader r = f.createXMLStreamReader( ... );
while(r.hasNext()) {
    r.next();
}
Using XMLEventReader

The XMLEventReader API in the StAX event iterator API provides the means to map events in an XML stream to allocated event objects that can be freely reused, and the API itself can be extended to handle custom events.

XMLEventReader provides four methods for iteratively parsing XML streams:

  • next: Returns the next event in the stream

  • nextEvent: Returns the next typed XMLEvent

  • hasNext: Returns true if there are more events to process in the stream

  • peek: Returns the event but does not iterate to the next event

For example, the following code snippet illustrates the XMLEventReader method declarations:

package javax.xml.stream;
import java.util.Iterator;
public interface XMLEventReader extends Iterator {
    public Object next();
    public XMLEvent nextEvent() throws XMLStreamException;
    public boolean hasNext();
    public XMLEvent peek() throws XMLStreamException;
    ...
}

To read all events on a stream and then print them, you could use the following:

while(stream.hasNext()) {
    XMLEvent event = stream.nextEvent();
    System.out.print(event);
}
Reading Attributes

You can access attributes from their associated javax.xml.stream.StartElement, as follows:

public interface StartElement extends XMLEvent {
    public Attribute getAttributeByName(QName name);
    public Iterator getAttributes();
}

You can use the getAttributes method on the StartElement interface to use an Iterator over all the attributes declared on that StartElement.

Reading Namespaces

Similar to reading attributes, namespaces are read using an Iterator created by calling the getNamespaces method on the StartElement interface. Only the namespace for the current StartElement is returned, and an application can get the current namespace context by using StartElement.getNamespaceContext.

Writing XML Streams

StAX is a bidirectional API, and both the cursor and event iterator APIs have their own set of interfaces for writing XML streams. As with the interfaces for reading streams, there are significant differences between the writer APIs for cursor and event iterator. The following sections describe how to write XML streams using each of these APIs.

Using XMLStreamWriter

The XMLStreamWriter interface in the StAX cursor API lets applications write back to an XML stream or create entirely new streams. XMLStreamWriter has methods that let you:

  • Write well-formed XML

  • Flush or close the output

  • Write qualified names

Note that XMLStreamWriter implementations are not required to perform well-formedness or validity checks on input. While some implementations may perform strict error checking, others may not. The rules you implement are applied to properties defined in the XMLOutputFactory class.

The writeCharacters method is used to escape characters such as &, <, >, and ". Binding prefixes can be handled by either passing the actual value for the prefix, by using the setPrefix method, or by setting the property for defaulting namespace declarations.

The following example, taken from the StAX specification, shows how to instantiate an output factory, create a writer, and write XML output:

XMLOutputFactory output = XMLOutputFactory.newInstance();
XMLStreamWriter writer = output.createXMLStreamWriter( ... );
writer.writeStartDocument();
writer.setPrefix("c","http://c");
writer.setDefaultNamespace("http://c");
writer.writeStartElement("http://c","a");
writer.writeAttribute("b","blah");
writer.writeNamespace("c","http://c");
writer.writeDefaultNamespace("http://c");
writer.setPrefix("d","http://c");
writer.writeEmptyElement("http://c","d");
writer.writeAttribute("http://c","chris","fry");
writer.writeNamespace("d","http://c");
writer.writeCharacters("Jean Arp");
writer.writeEndElement();
writer.flush();

This code generates the following XML (new lines are non-normative):

<?xml version=’1.0’ encoding=’utf-8’?>
<a b="blah" xmlns:c="http://c" xmlns="http://c">
<d:d d:chris="fry" xmlns:d="http://c"/>Jean Arp</a>
Using XMLEventWriter

The XMLEventWriter interface in the StAX event iterator API lets applications write back to an XML stream or create entirely new streams. This API can be extended, but the main API is as follows:

public interface XMLEventWriter {
    public void flush() throws XMLStreamException;
    public void close() throws XMLStreamException;
    public void add(XMLEvent e) throws XMLStreamException;
    // ... other methods not shown.
}

Instances of XMLEventWriter are created by an instance of XMLOutputFactory. Stream events are added iteratively, and an event cannot be modified after it has been added to an event writer instance.

Attributes, Escaping Characters, Binding Prefixes

StAX implementations are required to buffer the last StartElement until an event other than Attribute or Namespace is added or encountered in the stream. This means that when you add an Attribute or a Namespace to a stream, it is appended the current StartElement event.

You can use the Characters method to escape characters like &, <, >, and ".

The setPrefix(...) method can be used to explicitly bind a prefix for use during output, and the getPrefix(...) method can be used to get the current prefix. Note that by default, XMLEventWriter adds namespace bindings to its internal namespace map. Prefixes go out of scope after the corresponding EndElement for the event in which they are bound.

Sun’s Streaming XML Parser Implementation

Application Server 9.1 includes Sun Microsystems’ JSR 173 (StAX) implementation, called the Sun Java Streaming XML Parser (referred to as Streaming XML Parser). The Streaming XML Parser is a high-speed, non-validating, W3C XML 1.0 and Namespace 1.0-compliant streaming XML pull parser built upon the Xerces2 codebase.

In Sun’s Streaming XML Parser implementation, the Xerces2 lower layers, particularly the Scanner and related classes, have been redesigned to behave in a pull fashion. In addition to the changes in the lower layers, the Streaming XML Parser includes additional StAX-related functionality and many performance-enhancing improvements. The Streaming XML Parser is implemented in the appserv-ws.jar and javaee.jar files, both of which are located in the install_dir /lib/ directory.

Included with the JAXP reference implementation are StAX code examples, located in the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/stax directory, that illustrate how Sun’s Streaming XML Parser implementation works. These examples are described in Example Code.

Before you proceed with the example code, there are two aspects of the Streaming XML Parser of which you should be aware:

These topics are discussed below.

Reporting CDATA Events

The javax.xml.stream.XMLStreamReader implemented in the Streaming XML Parser does not report CDATA events. If you have an application that needs to receive such events, configure the XMLInputFactory to set the following implementation-specific report-cdata-event property:

XMLInputFactory factory = XMLInptuFactory.newInstance();
factory.setProperty("report-cdata-event", Boolean.TRUE);

Streaming XML Parser Factories Implementation

Most applications do not need to know the factory implementation class name. Just adding the javaee.jar and appserv-ws.jar files to the classpath is sufficient for most applications because these two jars supply the factory implementation classname for various Streaming XML Parser properties under the META-INF/services directory—for example, javax.xml.stream.XMLInputFactory, javax.xml.stream.XMLOutputFactory, and javax.xml.stream.XMLEventFactory—which is the third step of a lookup operation when an application asks for the factory instance. See the Javadoc for the XMLInputFactory.newInstance method for more information about the lookup mechanism.

However, there may be scenarios when an application would like to know about the factory implementation class name and set the property explicitly. These scenarios could include cases where there are multiple JSR 173 implementations in the classpath and the application wants to choose one, perhaps one that has superior performance, contains a crucial bug fix, or suchlike.

If an application sets the SystemProperty, it is the first step in a lookup operation, and so obtaining the factory instance would be fast compared to other options; for example:

javax.xml.stream.XMLInputFactory -->
     com.sun.xml.stream.ZephyrParserFactory
javax.xml.stream.XMLOutputFactory -->
     com.sun.xml.stream.ZephyrWriterFactor
javax.xml.stream.XMLEventFactory -->
     com.sun.xml.stream.events.ZephyrEventFactory

Example Code

This section steps through the example StAX code included in the JAXP reference implementation bundle. All example directories used in this section are located in the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/stax directory.

The topics covered in this section are as follows:

Example Code Organization

The INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/stax directory contains the six StAX example directories:

  • Cursor example: The cursor directory contains CursorParse.java, which illustrates how to use the XMLStreamReader (cursor) API to read an XML file.

  • Cursor-to-Event example: The cursor2event directory contains CursorApproachEventObject.java, which illustrates how an application can get information as an XMLEvent object when using the cursor API.

  • Event example: The event directory contains EventParse.java, which illustrates how to use the XMLEventReader (event iterator) API to read an XML file.

  • Filter example: The filter directory contains MyStreamFilter.java, which illustrates how to use the StAX Stream Filter APIs. In this example, the filter accepts only StartElement and EndElement events, and filters out the remainder of the events.

  • Read-and-Write example: The readnwrite directory contains EventProducerConsumer.java, which illustrates how the StAX producer/consumer mechanism can be used to simultaneously read and write XML streams.

  • Writer example: The writer directory contains CursorWriter.java, which illustrates how to use XMLStreamWriter to write an XML file programatically.

All the StAX examples except for the Writer example use an example XML document, BookCatalog.xml.

Example XML Document

The example XML document, BookCatalog.xml, used by most of the StAX example classes, is a simple book catalog based on the common BookCatalogue namespace. The contents of BookCatalog.xml are listed below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<BookCatalogue xmlns="http://www.publishing.org">
    <Book>
        <Title>Yogasana Vijnana: the Science of Yoga</Title>
        <author>Dhirendra Brahmachari</Author>
        <Date>1966</Date>
        <ISBN>81-40-34319-4</ISBN>
        <Publisher>Dhirendra Yoga Publications</Publisher>
        <Cost currency="INR">11.50</Cost>
    </Book>
    <Book>
        <Title>The First and Last Freedom</Title>
        <Author>J. Krishnamurti</Author>
        <Date>1954</Date>
        <ISBN>0-06-064831-7</ISBN>
        <Publisher>Harper &amp; Row</Publisher>
        <Cost currency="USD">2.95</Cost>
    </Book>
</BookCatalogue>

Cursor Example

Located in the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/stax/cursor/ directory, CursorParse.java demonstrates using the StAX cursor API to read an XML document. In the Cursor example, the application instructs the parser to read the next event in the XML input stream by calling next().

Note that next() just returns an integer constant corresponding to an underlying event where the parser is positioned. The application needs to call the relevant function to get more information related to the underlying event.

You can imagine this approach as a virtual cursor moving across the XML input stream. There are various accessor methods which can be called when that virtual cursor is at a particular event.

Stepping through Events

In this example, the client application pulls the next event in the XML stream by calling the next method on the parser; for example:

try {
    for (int i = 0 ; i < count ; i++) {
        // pass the file name.. all relative entity
        // references will be resolved against this as
        // base URI.
        XMLStreamReader xmlr =
            xmlif.createXMLStreamReader(filename,
                new FileInputStream(filename));
        // when XMLStreamReader is created, it is positioned
        // at START_DOCUMENT event.
        int eventType = xmlr.getEventType();
        printEventType(eventType);
        printStartDocument(xmlr);
        // check if there are more events in the input stream
        while(xmlr.hasNext()) {
            eventType = xmlr.next();
            printEventType(eventType);
            // these functions print the information about
            // the particular event by calling the relevant
            // function
            printStartElement(xmlr);
            printEndElement(xmlr);
            printText(xmlr);
            printPIData(xmlr);
            printComment(xmlr);
        }
    }
}

Note that next just returns an integer constant corresponding to the event underlying the current cursor location. The application calls the relevant function to get more information related to the underlying event. There are various accessor methods which can be called when the cursor is at a particular event.

Returning String Representations

Because the next method only returns integers corresponding to underlying event types, you typically need to map these integers to string representations of the events; for example:

public final static String getEventTypeString(int eventType) {
    switch (eventType) {
        case XMLEvent.START_ELEMENT:
            return "START_ELEMENT";
        case XMLEvent.END_ELEMENT:
            return "END_ELEMENT";
        case XMLEvent.PROCESSING_INSTRUCTION:
            return "PROCESSING_INSTRUCTION";
        case XMLEvent.CHARACTERS:
            return "CHARACTERS";
        case XMLEvent.COMMENT:
            return "COMMENT";
        case XMLEvent.START_DOCUMENT:
            return "START_DOCUMENT";
        case XMLEvent.END_DOCUMENT:
            return "END_DOCUMENT";
        case XMLEvent.ENTITY_REFERENCE:
            return "ENTITY_REFERENCE";
        case XMLEvent.ATTRIBUTE:
            return "ATTRIBUTE";
        case XMLEvent.DTD:
            return "DTD";
        case XMLEvent.CDATA:
            return "CDATA";
        case XMLEvent.SPACE:
            return "SPACE";
    }
    return "UNKNOWN_EVENT_TYPE , " + eventType;
}
To Run the Cursor Example
  1. To compile and run the cursor example, in a terminal window, go to the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/ directory and type the following:
                                                  javac stax/cursor/*.java                     
                      
  2. Run the CursorParse sample on the BookCatalogue.xml file, with the following command.
                                                  java stax/event/CursorParse stax/data/BookCatalogue.xml                     
                      

    CursorParse will print out each element of the BookCatalogue.xml file.

Cursor-to-Event Example

Located in the tut-install /javaeetutorial5/examples/stax/cursor2event/ directory, CursorApproachEventObject.java demonstrates how to get information returned by an XMLEvent object even when using the cursor API.

The idea here is that the cursor API’s XMLStreamReader returns integer constants corresponding to particular events, while the event iterator API’s XMLEventReader returns immutable and persistent event objects. XMLStreamReader is more efficient, but XMLEventReader is easier to use, because all the information related to a particular event is encapsulated in a returned XMLEvent object. However, the disadvantage of the event approach is the extra overhead of creating objects for every event, which consumes both time and memory.

With this mind, XMLEventAllocator can be used to get event information as an XMLEvent object, even when using the cursor API.

Instantiating an XMLEventAllocator

The first step is to create a new XMLInputFactory and instantiate an XMLEventAllocator:

XMLInputFactory xmlif = XMLInputFactory.newInstance();
System.out.println("FACTORY: " + xmlif);
xmlif.setEventAllocator(new XMLEventAllocatorImpl());
allocator = xmlif.getEventAllocator();
XMLStreamReader xmlr = xmlif.createXMLStreamReader(filename,
    new FileInputStream(filename));
Creating an Event Iterator

The next step is to create an event iterator:

int eventType = xmlr.getEventType();
while(xmlr.hasNext()){
    eventType = xmlr.next();
    //Get all "Book" elements as XMLEvent object
    if(eventType == XMLStreamConstants.START_ELEMENT &&
        xmlr.getLocalName().equals("Book")){
        //get immutable XMLEvent
        StartElement event = getXMLEvent(xmlr).asStartElement();
        System.out.println("EVENT: " + event.toString());
    }
}
Creating the Allocator Method

The final step is to create the XMLEventAllocator method:

private static XMLEvent getXMLEvent(XMLStreamReader reader)
         throws XMLStreamException {
    return allocator.allocate(reader);
}
To Run the Cursor-to-Event Example
  1. To compile and run the cursor—to—event example, in a terminal window, go to the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/ directory and type the following:
                                                  javac -classpath ../lib/jaxp-ri.jar stax/cursor2event/*.java                     
                      
  2. Run the CursorApproachEventObject sample on the BookCatalogue.xml file, with the following command.
                                                  java stax/cursor2event/CursorApproachEventObject stax/data/BookCatalogue.xml                     
                      

    CursorApproachEventObject will print out the list of events defined by the BookCatalogue.xml file.

Event Example

Located in the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/stax/event/ directory, EventParse.java demonstrates how to use the StAX event API to read an XML document.

Creating an Input Factory

The first step is to create a new instance of XMLInputFactory:

XMLInputFactory factory = XMLInputFactory.newInstance();
System.out.println("FACTORY: " + factory);
Creating an Event Reader

The next step is to create an instance of XMLEventReader:

XMLEventReader r = factory.createXMLEventReader(filename,
     new FileInputStream(filename));
Creating an Event Iterator

The third step is to create an event iterator:

XMLEventReader r = factory.createXMLEventReader(filename,
     new FileInputStream(filename));
while(r.hasNext()) {
    XMLEvent e = r.nextEvent();
    System.out.println(e.toString());
}
Getting the Event Stream

The final step is to get the underlying event stream:

public final static String getEventTypeString(int eventType) {
    switch (eventType) {
        case XMLEvent.START_ELEMENT:
            return "START_ELEMENT";
        case XMLEvent.END_ELEMENT:
            return "END_ELEMENT";
        case XMLEvent.PROCESSING_INSTRUCTION:
            return "PROCESSING_INSTRUCTION";
        case XMLEvent.CHARACTERS:
            return "CHARACTERS";
        case XMLEvent.COMMENT:
            return "COMMENT";
        case XMLEvent.START_DOCUMENT:
            return "START_DOCUMENT";
        case XMLEvent.END_DOCUMENT:
            return "END_DOCUMENT";
        case XMLEvent.ENTITY_REFERENCE:
            return "ENTITY_REFERENCE";
        case XMLEvent.ATTRIBUTE:
            return "ATTRIBUTE";
        case XMLEvent.DTD:
            return "DTD";
        case XMLEvent.CDATA:
            return "CDATA";
        case XMLEvent.SPACE:
            return "SPACE";
    }
    return "UNKNOWN_EVENT_TYPE " + "," + eventType;
}
Returning the Output

When you run the Event example, the EventParse class is compiled, and the XML stream is parsed as events and returned to STDOUT. For example, an instance of the Author element is returned as:

<[’http://www.publishing.org’]::Author>
    Dhirendra Brahmachari
</[’http://www.publishing.org’]::Author>

Note in this example that the event comprises an opening and closing tag, both of which include the namespace. The content of the element is returned as a string within the tags.

Similarly, an instance of the Cost element is returned as:

<[’http://www.publishing.org’]::Cost currency=’INR’>
    11.50
</[’http://www.publishing.org’]::Cost>

In this case, the currency attribute and value are returned in the opening tag for the event.

To Run the Event Example
  1. To compile and run the event example, in a terminal window, go to the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/ directory and type the following:
                                                  javac -classpath ../lib/jaxp-ri.jar stax/event/*.java                     
                      
  2. Run the EventParse sample on the BookCatalogue.xml file, with the following command.
                                                  java stax/event/EventParse stax/data/BookCatalogue.xml                     
                      

    EventParse will print out the data from all the elements defined by the BookCatalogue.xml file.

Filter Example

Located in the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/stax/filter/ directory, MyStreamFilter.java demonstrates how to use the StAX stream filter API to filter out events not needed by your application. In this example, the parser filters out all events except StartElement and EndElement.

Implementing the StreamFilter Class

The MyStreamFilter class implements javax.xml.stream.StreamFilter:

public class MyStreamFilter
     implements javax.xml.stream.StreamFilter {
Creating an Input Factory

The next step is to create an instance of XMLInputFactory. In this case, various properties are also set on the factory:

XMLInputFactory xmlif = null ;
try {
    xmlif = XMLInputFactory.newInstance();
    xmlif.setProperty(
        XMLInputFactory.IS_REPLACING_ENTITY_REFERENCES,
        Boolean.TRUE);
    xmlif.setProperty(
        XMLInputFactory.IS_SUPPORTING_EXTERNAL_ENTITIES,
        Boolean.FALSE);
    xmlif.setProperty(XMLInputFactory.IS_NAMESPACE_AWARE,
        Boolean.TRUE);
    xmlif.setProperty(XMLInputFactory.IS_COALESCING,
        Boolean.TRUE);
} catch (Exception ex) {
    ex.printStackTrace();
}
System.out.println("FACTORY: " + xmlif);
System.out.println("filename = "+ filename);
Creating the Filter

The next step is to instantiate a file input stream and create the stream filter:

FileInputStream fis = new FileInputStream(filename);
                
XMLStreamReader xmlr = xmlif.createFilteredReader(
    xmlif.createXMLStreamReader(fis), new MyStreamFilter());

int eventType = xmlr.getEventType();
printEventType(eventType);
while(xmlr.hasNext()) {
    eventType = xmlr.next();
    printEventType(eventType);
    printName(xmlr,eventType);
    printText(xmlr);
    if (xmlr.isStartElement()) {
        printAttributes(xmlr);
    }
    printPIData(xmlr);
    System.out.println("-----------------------------");
}
Capturing the Event Stream

The next step is to capture the event stream. This is done in basically the same way as in the Event example.

Filtering the Stream

The final step is to filter the stream:

public boolean accept(XMLStreamReader reader) {
    if (!reader.isStartElement() && !reader.isEndElement())
        return false;
    else
        return true;
}
Returning the Output

When you run the Filter example, the MyStreamFilter class is compiled, and the XML stream is parsed as events and returned to STDOUT. For example, an Author event is returned as follows:

EVENT TYPE(1):START_ELEMENT
HAS NAME: Author
HAS NO TEXT
HAS NO ATTRIBUTES
-----------------------------
EVENT TYPE(2):END_ELEMENT
HAS NAME: Author
HAS NO TEXT
-----------------------------

Similarly, a Cost event is returned as follows:

EVENT TYPE(1):START_ELEMENT
HAS NAME: Cost
HAS NO TEXT

HAS ATTRIBUTES:
 ATTRIBUTE-PREFIX:
 ATTRIBUTE-NAMESP: null
ATTRIBUTE-NAME:   currency
ATTRIBUTE-VALUE: USD
ATTRIBUTE-TYPE:  CDATA

-----------------------------
EVENT TYPE(2):END_ELEMENT
HAS NAME: Cost
HAS NO TEXT
-----------------------------

See Iterator API and Reading XML Streams for a more detailed discussion of StAX event parsing.

To Run the Filter Example
  1. To compile and run the Filter example, in a terminal window, go to the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/ directory and type the following:
                                                  javac -classpath ../lib/jaxp-ri.jar stax/filter/*.java                     
                      
  2. Run the MyStreamFilter sample on the BookCatalogue.xml file, with the following command. This example requires the java.endorsed.dirs system property to be set, to point to the samples/lib directory.
                                                  java -Djava.endorsed.dirs=../lib stax/filter/MyStreamFilter -f stax/data/BookCatalogue.xml                     
                      

    MyStreamFilter will print out the events defined by the BookCatalogue.xml file as an XML stream.

Read-and-Write Example

Located in the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/stax/readnwrite/ directory, EventProducerConsumer.java demonstrates how to use a StAX parser simultaneously as both a producer and a consumer.

The StAX XMLEventWriter API extends from the XMLEventConsumer interface, and is referred to as an event consumer. By contrast, XMLEventReader is an event producer. StAX supports simultaneous reading and writing, such that it is possible to read from one XML stream sequentially and simultaneously write to another stream.

The Read-and-Write example shows how the StAX producer/consumer mechanism can be used to read and write simultaneously. This example also shows how a stream can be modified and how new events can be added dynamically and then written to a different stream.

Creating an Event Producer/Consumer

The first step is to instantiate an event factory and then create an instance of an event producer/consumer:

XMLEventFactory m_eventFactory = XMLEventFactory.newInstance();
public EventProducerConsumer() {
}
...
try {
    EventProducerConsumer ms = new EventProducerConsumer();
    
    XMLEventReader reader =
        XMLInputFactory.newInstance().createXMLEventReader(
            new java.io.FileInputStream(args[0]));
    XMLEventWriter writer =
        XMLOutputFactory.newInstance().createXMLEventWriter(
            System.out);
Creating an Iterator

The next step is to create an iterator to parse the stream:

while(reader.hasNext()) {
    XMLEvent event = (XMLEvent)reader.next();
    if (event.getEventType() == event.CHARACTERS) {
        writer.add(ms.getNewCharactersEvent(event.asCharacters()));
    } else {
        writer.add(event);
    }
}
writer.flush();
Creating a Writer

The final step is to create a stream writer in the form of a new Character event:

Characters getNewCharactersEvent(Characters event) {
    if (event.getData().equalsIgnoreCase("Name1")) {
        return m_eventFactory.createCharacters(
            Calendar.getInstance().getTime().toString());
    }
    //else return the same event
    else {
        return event;
    }
}
Returning the Output

When you run the Read-and-Write example, the EventProducerConsumer class is compiled, and the XML stream is parsed as events and written back to STDOUT. The output is the contents of the BookCatalog.xml file described in Example XML Document.

To Run the Read-and-Write Example
  1. To compile and run the Read—and—Write example, in a terminal window, go to the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/ directory and type the following:
                                                  javac -classpath ../lib/jaxp-ri.jar stax/readnwrite/*.java                     
                      
  2. Run the EventProducerConsumer sample on the BookCatalogue.xml file, with the following command.
                                                  java stax/readnwrite/EventProducerConsumer stax/data/BookCatalogue.xml                     
                      

    EventProducerConsumer will print out the content of the BookCatalogue.xml file.

Writer Example

Located in the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/stax/writer/ directory, CursorWriter.java demonstrates how to use the StAX cursor API to write an XML stream.

Creating the Output Factory

The first step is to create an instance of XMLOutputFactory:

XMLOutputFactory xof =  XMLOutputFactory.newInstance();
Creating a Stream Writer

The next step is to create an instance of XMLStreamWriter:

XMLStreamWriter xtw = null;
Writing the Stream

The final step is to write the XML stream. Note that the stream is flushed and closed after the final EndDocument is written:

xtw = xof.createXMLStreamWriter(new FileWriter(fileName));
xtw.writeComment("all elements here are explicitly in the HTML namespace");
xtw.writeStartDocument("utf-8","1.0");
xtw.setPrefix("html", "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40");
xtw.writeStartElement("http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40","html");
xtw.writeNamespace("html", "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40");
xtw.writeStartElement("http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40","head");
xtw.writeStartElement("http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40","title");
xtw.writeCharacters("Frobnostication");
xtw.writeEndElement();
xtw.writeEndElement();
xtw.writeStartElement("http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40","body");
xtw.writeStartElement("http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40","p");
xtw.writeCharacters("Moved to");
xtw.writeStartElement("http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40","a");
xtw.writeAttribute("href","http://frob.com");
xtw.writeCharacters("here");
xtw.writeEndElement();
xtw.writeEndElement();
xtw.writeEndElement();
xtw.writeEndElement();
xtw.writeEndDocument();
xtw.flush();
xtw.close();
Returning the Output

When you run the Writer example, the CursorWriter class is compiled, and the XML stream is parsed as events and written to a file named dist/CursorWriter-Output:

<!--all elements here are explicitly in the HTML namespace-->
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<html:html xmlns:html="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40">
<html:head>
<html:title>Frobnostication</html:title></html:head>
<html:body>
<html:p>Moved to <html:a href="http://frob.com">here</html:a>
</html:p>
</html:body>
</html:html>

In the actual dist/CursorWriter-Output file, this stream is written without any line breaks; the breaks have been added here to make the listing easier to read. In this example, as with the object stream in the Event example, the namespace prefix is added to both the opening and closing HTML tags. Adding this prefix is not required by the StAX specification, but it is good practice when the final scope of the output stream is not definitively known.

To Run the Writer Example
  1. To compile and run the Writer example, in a terminal window, go to the INSTALL_DIR /jaxp- version /samples/ directory and type the following:
                                                  javac -classpath ../lib/jaxp-ri.jar stax/writer/*.java                     
                      
  2. Run the CursorWriter sample, specifying the name of the file the output should be written to.
                                                  java stax/writer/CursorWriter -f                         output_file                     
                      

    CursorWriter will create an output file of the appropriate name, which contains the data shown in Returning the Output.

Further Information

For more information about StAX, see:

For some useful articles about working with StAX, see:

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