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From "Steve Loughran" <>
Subject Re: Easily compare two XML files (Suggestion for new ant utility)
Date Tue, 20 Aug 2002 19:09:36 GMT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephane Bailliez" <>
To: "Ant Developers List" <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 11:25 AM
Subject: Re: Easily compare two XML files (Suggestion for new ant utility)

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <>
> > I was not recommending creating a new generic xml diff utility.  I was
> > talking about convenience functionality that would help unit tests
> > extending the easily compare XML
> > files with expected XML output files.  The description of my particular
> How do you want to compare XML output without it being generic ?
> Some may consider formatting as a difference some may not.
> Some may consider order as a difference some may not
> Some may consider attributes equals to the default implied value as a
> difference some may not.
> etc etc...

hence 'canonical XML' and canonical diffs.

One big issue w/ XML is that the ability to escape stuff like this: &#32;
means that two files can be very different in format, yet parse to the same
infoset. Likewise, is a UTF16 version of a file identical to the same
content in UTF-8? The infoset matches.

...I think XML diffing is a separate beast from ant, but that it should of
course come with an ant task so you could diff it. I guess it needs an
xmlpatch too.

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