SAX : Java Glossary


SAX stands for SAX (Simple API for XML), a parsing technique for XML (extensible Markup Language). It is part of Oracle’s JAXP (Java Api for XML Processing) classes for manipulating XML. It hands you each field one at a time as it parses. In contrast, DOM (Document Object Model) creates a tree. The advantage of SAX is it needs only a small amount of memory to process a large file. The code you need to read an XML file is unbelievably ugly and verbose.

The name SAX also refters to a protocol I proposed in 1985 to replace FTP (File Transfer Protocol) for file transfer. It uses far fewer acks so generates less network congestion and less delay. It’s key features are never throwing away good packets received and restart after a disconnect.

Learning More

Oracle’s Javadoc on SAX package : available:
Oracle’s Javadoc on XMLStreamReader class : available:


book cover recommend book⇒SAX2to book home
by David Brownell 978-0-596-00237-4 paperback
publisher O’Reilly recommended
published 2002-01-03
Using the SAX2 API to process XML.
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