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XMLWF(1)                                                              XMLWF(1)

       xmlwf - Determines if an XML document is well-formed

       xmlwf [ -s]  [ -n]  [ -p]  [ -x]  [ -e encoding]  [ -w]  [ -d output-dir]  [ -c]  [ -m]  [ -r]  [ -t]  [ -v]  [
       file ...]

       xmlwf uses the Expat library to determine if an XML document is well-formed.  It is non-validating.

       If you do not specify any files on the command-line, and you have a recent version of  xmlwf,  the  input  file
       will be read from standard input.

       A well-formed document must adhere to the following rules:

       ? The  file begins with an XML declaration.  For instance, <?xml version="1.0" standalone="yes"?>.  NOTE: xmlwf
         does not currently check for a valid XML declaration.

       ? Every start tag is either empty (<tag/>) or has a corresponding end tag.

       ? There is exactly one root element.  This element must contain all other elements in the document.  Only  com-
         ments, white space, and processing instructions may come after the close of the root element.

       ? All elements nest properly.

       ? All attribute values are enclosed in quotes (either single or double).

       If  the document has a DTD, and it strictly complies with that DTD, then the document is also considered valid.
       xmlwf is a non-validating parser -- it does not check the DTD.  However, it does support external entities (see
       the -x option).

       When  an  option includes an argument, you may specify the argument either separately ("-d output") or concate-
       nated with the option ("-doutput").  xmlwf supports both.

       -c     If the input file is well-formed and xmlwf doesn't encounter any errors, the input file is simply copied
              to the output directory unchanged.  This implies no namespaces (turns off -n) and requires -d to specify
              an output file.

       -d output-dir
              Specifies a directory to contain transformed representations of the input files.  By default, -d outputs
              a  canonical representation (described below).  You can select different output formats using -c and -m.

              The output filenames will be exactly the same as the input filenames or "STDIN" if the input  is  coming
              from  standard  input.   Therefore,  you  must be careful that the output file does not go into the same
              directory as the input file.  Otherwise, xmlwf will delete the input file before it generates the output
              file (just like running cat < file > file in most shells).

              Two  structurally  equivalent XML documents have a byte-for-byte identical canonical XML representation.
              Note that ignorable white space is considered significant and is treated equivalently to data.  More  on
              canonical XML can be found at .

       -e encoding
              Specifies  the character encoding for the document, overriding any document encoding declaration.  xmlwf
              supports four built-in encodings: US-ASCII, UTF-8, UTF-16, and ISO-8859-1.  Also see the -w option.

       -m     Outputs some strange sort of XML file that completely describes  the  input  file,  including  character
              positions.  Requires -d to specify an output file.

       -n     Turns on namespace processing.  (describe namespaces) -c disables namespaces.

       -p     Tells xmlwf to process external DTDs and parameter entities.

              Normally xmlwf never parses parameter entities.  -p tells it to always parse them.  -p implies -x.

       -r     Normally  xmlwf memory-maps the XML file before parsing; this can result in faster parsing on many plat-
              forms.  -r turns off memory-mapping and uses normal file IO calls instead.  Of course, memory-mapping is
              automatically turned off when reading from standard input.

              Use  of  memory-mapping  can cause some platforms to report substantially higher memory usage for xmlwf,
              but this appears to be a matter of the operating system reporting memory in a strange way; there is  not
              a leak in xmlwf.

       -s     Prints  an error if the document is not standalone.  A document is standalone if it has no external sub-
              set and no references to parameter entities.

       -t     Turns on timings.  This tells Expat to parse the entire file, but  not  perform  any  processing.   This
              gives  a  fairly  accurate  idea of the raw speed of Expat itself without client overhead.  -t turns off
              most of the output options (-d, -m, -c, ...).

       -v     Prints the version of the Expat library being used, including some information on the compile-time  con-
              figuration of the library, and then exits.

       -w     Enables support for Windows code pages.  Normally, xmlwf will throw an error if it runs across an encod-
              ing that it is not equipped to handle itself.  With -w, xmlwf will try to use a Windows code page.   See
              also -e.

       -x     Turns on parsing external entities.

              Non-validating  parsers  are  not required to resolve external entities, or even expand entities at all.
              Expat always expands internal entities (?), but external entity parsing must be enabled explicitly.

              External entities are simply entities that obtain their data from outside the XML file  currently  being

              This is an example of an internal entity:

              <!ENTITY vers '1.0.2'>

              And here are some examples of external entities:

              <!ENTITY header SYSTEM "header-&vers;.xml">  (parsed)
              <!ENTITY logo SYSTEM "logo.png" PNG>         (unparsed)

       --     (Two hyphens.)  Terminates the list of options.  This is only needed if a filename starts with a hyphen.
              For example:

              xmlwf -- -myfile.xml

              will run xmlwf on the file -myfile.xml.

       Older versions of xmlwf do not support reading from standard input.

       If an input file is not well-formed, xmlwf prints a single line describing the problem to standard output.   If
       a file is well formed, xmlwf outputs nothing.  Note that the result code is not set.

       According  to  the  W3C  standard,  an  XML file without a declaration at the beginning is not considered well-
       formed.  However, xmlwf allows this to pass.

       xmlwf returns a 0 - noerr result, even if the file is not well-formed.  There is no good way for a  program  to
       use xmlwf to quickly check a file -- it must parse xmlwf's standard output.

       The errors should go to standard error, not standard output.

       There  should  be a way to get -d to send its output to standard output rather than forcing the user to send it
       to a file.

       I have no idea why anyone would want to use the -d, -c, and -m options.  If someone could explain it to me, I'd
       like to add this information to this manpage.

       Here are some XML validators on the web:

       The Expat home page:
       The W3 XML specification:

       This manual page was written by Scott Bronson <> for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be
       used by others).  Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of  the
       GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1.

                                24 January 2003                       XMLWF(1)