Evil ampersands! They have caused me hours of headaches in past XML
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 4:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] problem in old etd xml files
What's killing you is the ampersands. When these were encoded they
contained characters that hadn't been properly encoded as XML (mainly
special linguistic characters and non-breaking spaces). Definitely replace
your :stylesheet with -stylesheet, but then do a find and replace on all
of your ampersands. It's the number one giant killer with modern XML
parsers. I downloaded your file, switched in the hyphen and ditched all
the ampersands and the solution tested good for me in Chrome and Firefox.
Jason Bengtson, MLIS, MA
Head of Library Computing and Information Systems Assistant Professor,
Graduate College Department of Health Sciences Library and Information
Management University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center 405-271-2285,
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On Dec 9, 2013, at 3:57 PM, "Robertson, Wendy C"
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks. I'll see if this helps.
> I'm sure IE was used to view the files 4.5 years ago. I don't think I
looked at them, but we had super employees (recent grads from library
school) that worked with the files and I trust that they would have
> Fortunately we only have 7 of these to try to fix.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Jon Gorman
> Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 3:17 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] problem in old etd xml files
> A lot of modern systems won't load entities (or will limit it somehow)
because of the denial of service attack that is possible. Look for XML
Entity Reference Denial of Service. I can't remember if Public
declarations are treated any differently than System ones. (I would have
suspected it to trust SYSTEM ones more, but they'd still be exploitable by
the same bug).
> (There's also a fair number of other errors, I'm somewhat skeptical that
the example worked on many browsers even then. It's possible IE was
flexible enough it would have worked).
> One thing you might want to do is is take out the entities.
> I can't remember why I had to do this, but xmllint seemed to do the
> ( I found a snippet at
> but it' smissing the necessary --loaddtd)
> xmllint --loaddtd --noent --dropdtd FRONT.xml > FRONT_nodtdent.xml
> I mean, you don't need the dtd for validation, particularly since I
suspect given the errors it may not validate anyhow.
> It might make the files a little harder to read when reading the raw
source, but I suspect that's not typically a problem.
> Jon Gorman
> University of Illinois
> On Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 2:10 PM, Robertson, Wendy C <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Back in 1999-2002 a handful of our theses were submitted as a
>> collection of xml files. We posted the files in our repository
>> several years ago (we posted a zipped folder with all the files). At
>> that time, if you opened front.xml you would be able to access the
>> thesis. We have not touched the files in the close to 5 years since
>> we posted them, but the files no longer open correctly. One of the
problem theses is http://ir.uiowa.edu/etd/189/.
>> Front.xml begins
>> <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <?xml:stylesheet
>> type="text/css" href="UIowa2K1.css" ?> <!DOCTYPE thesis SYSTEM
>> I have tried the following changes but they do not help
>> 1) Adding standalone="no"? to the xml declaration -- <?xml
>> version="1.0" " encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
>> 2) Changing the case of "UIowa2K1.css" and "UIowa2K.dtd" to match
>> files (which are in all caps)
>> 3) Changing xml:stylesheet to xml-stylesheet
>> Chrome shows errors that entities are not defined, but they are
>> defined in the dtd.
>> I would appreciate any assistance in making these documents available
>> again. Thanks!
>> Wendy Robertson
>> Digital Scholarship Librarian * The University of Iowa Libraries
>> 1015 Main Library * Iowa City, Iowa 52242 [log in to unmask]
>> * 319-335-5821