Changes specific to .NET
Saxon is now released for two platforms: the Java platform (JDK 1.4 or later), and the .NET platform (validated only on .NET version 1.1). The documentation covers both platforms except where otherwise stated.
The basic port to the .NET platform has been achieved by translating the Java bytecode to MSIL instructions using the IKVMC static compiler, which in turn links to the GNU ClassPath for run-time support of the Java class library. I would like to express my appreciation to Pieter Siegers and M. David Peterson who pioneered this approach and demonstrated its feasibility, and of course to Jeroen Frijters and the other developers who created the technology, which has proved very robust.
The code that is ported in this way includes both the schema-aware and basic products. The open-source
(basic) product is provided as an assembly
saxon8.dll, while the schema-aware code is packaged
saxon8sa.dll. Note that unlike the Java distribution, the
not duplicate or replace the code in
saxon8.dll, rather it references it as a dependent assembly.
The ported Java code is supplemented by an API library designed for use by .NET applications. Although
documented in C# terms, this is of course accessible to any .NET programming language. This is a new API
designed to give a coherent approach to handling of XSLT, XQuery, and XPath, and to provide integration with
existing .NET capabilities (in particular, the
System.Xml package where appropriate. The API
builds on ideas from JAXP and from
System.Xml.Xsl and elsewhere, but is in effect a new design.
are available for .NET: the command-line
options are largely the same as the Java equivalents. The same command provides access to schema-aware
-sa option) and non-schema-aware operations (
Validate, of course, is
Facilities not currently supported on the .NET platform include the following (this means they are untested, not necessarily that they don't work):
- XSLT stylesheet compilation
- Extension functions written in .NET languages
- User-written XSLT extension instructions
- The SQL extension
- OEM license keys
Saxon on the .NET platform relies on the GNU Classpath library for much of its run-time support, though
some of the more critical operations are delegated instead to the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR).
The Microsoft XML parser is generally used in preference to the GNU XML
parser, though the GNU parser will be used, for example, if a
SAXSource is supplied
by the application. URI handling (especially URI dereferencing)
is generally delegated to the .NET
platform. Collations are implemented using the facilities of the .NET
namespace, except where Java-specific facilities are used such as an explicit collation class or explicit
collation rules. Regular expression processing is also delegated to the CLR, because the GNU regex library
was found not to support the full JDK regex syntax.
On the .NET platform, Saxon allows input to be obtained from the
XmlReader class defined
System.Xml namespace. This offers a pull parser interface very similar to the
XMLStreamReader of StAX.
To use this parser from the
Saxon.Api interface, create a
XmlReader, then call