Windows 2003 SP2 & XmlLite

Update (19/03/2007): The April 2007 edition of the MSDN Magazine has an excellent article on XmlLite – XmlLite: A Small And Fast XML Parser For Native C++

Windows 2003 SP2

As reported on Slashdot and elsewhere, Microsoft has just released Windows 2003 SP2 – further details and the necessary download can be found here (for x86 systems) and a list of ‘whats new’ is available here. They’ve also released something I’ve not seen before with the ‘Hotfix Scan Tool‘ which will ‘scan for hotfixes that will potentially regress after you install Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)‘ – do MS expect there to be problems*?

A New Xml Parser: XmlLite

Included in this service pack is a new Xml parser, XmlLite. XmlLite is a new, native (read C++), lightweight parser, designed for speed rather than complexity. It lives in its own DLL and doesn’t use or link to MSXML; as a result it’s extremely small (~150Kb) with no dependencies.

XmlLite is a non-caching, forward-only, pull parser. It’s meant to be a small, simple, secure, standards-compliant and fast library to read and write Xml. It’s a “lite” version, so: no validation, very limited DTD processing (entity expansion and defaults for attributes only), no ActiveX, no scripting languages, not thread-safe etc. Further details can be found here.

From what I can gather reading the various docs, it was produced to fill the gap between MSXML and the managed System.Xml – architects and developers had requested a deployment scenario that did not require the .NET Framework and did not want to be burdened with the overhead of MSXML.

Full details of the new parser can be found on MSDN.

* The Hotfix Scan Tool also has KB article 931940 attached to it which provides instructions on how to find updated packages for the hotfixes that are identified by the Hotfix Scan Tool; at the time of writing, the KB article cannot be found on the MS website.

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