Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I found the term here:

I know what a XML parser is.

I can't understand; what exactly is an expat XML parser?

share|improve this question
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Expat is a specific XML parser. Mozilla's ordinary HTML parser just tries to make the best of what it's given, while a real XML parser is much less lenient, as described on that page.

share|improve this answer
Expat (a C library, callable from C++) has a similar approach to SAX, but doesn't follow the SAX conventions. Since SAX was first released for Java, it's conventions have been adapted (with slight modifications) for a range of libraries for other languages, whether Java-related or not - making it a kind of defacto-standard alternative to more heavyweight DOM-based libraries. Expat (IIRC) predated SAX and, although there are SAX-based libraries for C++ (e.g. Xerces-C++), Expat is still going strong. I don't know if there's a SAX variant for C, but it seems implausible without OOP though. – Steve314 Jul 22 '11 at 15:13

Expat (XML) :

In computing, Expat is a stream-oriented XML 1.0 parser library, written in C. As one of the first available open-source XML parsers, Expat has found a place in many open-source projects. Such projects include the Apache HTTP Server, Mozilla, Perl, Python and PHP. It is also bound in many other languages.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.