XML Canonicalizer

Stylus Studio® X16 XML features a handy XML canonicalizer among its' many XML editing utilities, for converting any XML document into its canonical form, a W3C standard for normalizing XML files (i.e. removing XML whitespace, etc.)

Canonicalizing an XML File

Just load any XML file in the Stylus Studio® XML editor, and click the "Make Canonical XML" button - Stylus Studio® will automatically convert the current XML file into its canonical form representation. The XML canonicalizer is easy to use and is illustrated below:

Canonicalizing an XML File

The Rules of XML Canonical Form

Think of XML canonical form as a normalized format for XML documents for comparing two XML documents for equality, for example, suppose you wanted to compare documents for versioning or security reasons. The W3C addresses this problem with the XML Canonicalization spec (c14n), which defines a standard form for an XML document that is guaranteed to provide proper bit-wise comparisons and thus consistent digital signatures, and Stylus Studio® is the only XML IDE to provide built-in support for XML canonicalization, as illustrated here:

Canonicalize XML documents with Stylus Studio®

When you convert XML document into its canonical form, Stylus Studio® automatically performs the following XML editing operations for you:

  • The XML document is encoded in UTF-8.
  • Line breaks are normalized to "#xA" on input, before parsing.
  • XML attribute values are normalized, as if by a validating processor.
  • Default XML attributes are added to each element, as if by a validating processor.
  • CDATA sections are replaced with their literal character content.
  • Character and parsed entity references are replaced with the literal characters (excepting special characters).
  • Special characters in attribute values and character content are replaced by character references (as usual for well-formed XML).
  • The XML declaration and DTD are removed.
  • Empty elements are converted to start-end tag pairs.
  • Whitespace outside of the document element and within start and end tags is normalized.
  • All whitespace in character content is retained (excluding characters removed during line feed normalization).
  • Attribute value delimiters are set to quotation marks (double quotes).
  • Superfluous namespace declarations are removed from each element.
  • Lexicographic order is imposed on the namespace declarations and attributes of each element.

Stylus Studio® X16 XML's XML Canonicalizer is the easiest way to normalize XML documents in a standard-based way.


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