Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What does it meant to say “the canonical” form of XML?

"The purpose of Canonical XML is to define a standard format for an XML document. Canonical XML is a very strict XML syntax, which lets documents in canonical XML be compared directly.
Using this strict syntax makes it easier to see whether two XML documents are the same. For example, a section of text in one document might read Black & White, whereas the same section of text might read Black & White in another document, and even in another. If you compare those three documents byte by byte, they'll be different. But if you write them all in canonical XML, which specifies every aspect of the syntax you can use, these three documents would all have the same version of this text (which would be Black & White) and could be compared without problem.
This Comparison is especially critical when xml documents are digitally signed. The digital signal may be interpreted in different way and the document may be rejected.

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