Re: problem with reading stream

Tom Anderson <>
Mon, 22 Sep 2008 13:57:08 +0100
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On Sun, 21 Sep 2008, Owen Jacobson wrote:

On Sep 21, 4:47?am, "Mike Schilling" <>

Owen Jacobson wrote:

First - it is completely legal for an XML file to begin with
whitespace, comments, processing instructions, or a tag - so (in the
absence of an example) I have to suppose that your RSS parser is a bit

No, actually it isn't. ?See the XML standard at it allows whitespace after the
end of the document, but not before the beginning. ?And the reason for
this should be clear: since an XML document could use many different
encodings, there would be a catch-22 in trying to discard whitespace
that precedes the XML declaration that indicates what encoding is being
used. ?See Appendix F of the standard.

..Huh. You're right. I've never encountered it because I don't usually
put whitespace before a document - there's no point, it's just wasted

I got bitten by this recently. I wrote a JSP that started like this:

<%@page contentType="application/xhtml+xml"%>
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!-- then doctype, and actual content -->

I thought i was being a really good boy and setting my content-type right.
But all that happened is that the client fell over with a parsing error!
Because, of course, after the page directive JSP tag, and before the XML
declaration, there's a newline. So, after JSP processing, my page actually
started "\n<?xml", which is against the rules.

You can fix it easily by deleting the newline, and having the XML decl
follow directly on the heels of the page directive.

In that case, the OP's appropriate course of action would be to tell
whoever's publishing the RSS to fix the feed.

Good luck with that.


Also, a 'dark future where there is only war!' ... have you seen the
news lately? -- applez

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