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RE: question on latest spec

From: John Boyer <jboyer@PureEdge.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2000 13:12:10 -0800
To: "Kevin Regan" <kevinr@valicert.com>, <w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org>
Cc: "Joseph Reagle" <reagle@w3.org>
Hi Kevin,

Actually, Section 2.10 of the XML spec makes it quite clear that all XML
processors must be capable of providing to the application ALL whitespace
within the document element.  Validating processors must further be capable
of telling the application whether a given whitespace character appeared in
element content, i.e. was insignificant.

Many implementers of validating processors allow the application developer
to configure whether the whitespace should simply be discarded.

The statement you've come across in Section 2.1 is telling you how to
configure your validating parser.  You MUST set it so that all whitespace is
reported to the canonicalizer.

NOTE: I don't see any harm in throwing out insignificant whitespace *before*
the document is signed.  In other words, the original document accessed by
the user from the web may have insignificant whitespace that your
application strips out before even presenting the information content to the
end-user.  Once the end user affixes a signature, though, any insignificant
whitespace that gets added to the signed document will break the signature.

John Boyer
Development Team Leader,
Distributed Processing and XML
PureEdge Solutions Inc.
Creating Binding E-Commerce
v: 250-479-8334, ext. 143  f: 250-479-3772
1-888-517-2675   http://www.PureEdge.com <http://www.pureedge.com/>

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-ietf-xmldsig-request@w3.org
[mailto:w3c-ietf-xmldsig-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Kevin Regan
Sent: Sunday, November 12, 2000 6:20 PM
To: w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org
Subject: question on latest spec

I've been a way on other activities for a while, and have just recently
gotten back to
the XML C14N specification.  I came across the following in section 2.1:

"All whitespace within the root document element MUST be preserved
(except for any #xD characters deleted by line delimiter normalization).
This includes all whitespace in external entities. Whitespace outside of
the root document element MUST be discarded."

I'm assuming that this means white space that is presented after the
document is processed
by the XML processor.  When a validating XML processor reads in a
document against a DTD,
insignificant white space is removed.  This is not the white space that
the specification is
referring to, is it?

Kevin Regan
Received on Wednesday, 15 November 2000 16:11:26 UTC

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