libxml 2.6.7 and libxslt 1.1.3 released
06:05, 26 Feb 2004 UTC | Michael Smith

Daniel Veillard has recently released updated versions of libxml and libxslt. An important security fix is included, along with some improvements and optimizations and bug fixes.

The libxml 2.6.7 release contains a security fix for a "potentially severe buffer overflow error" (actually fixed in the libxml 2.6.6 release), other bug fixes, and some XPath and DTD validation optimizations.

About the libxslt 1.1.3 release, Veillard writes:

The first part of the release is a number of bug fixes (thanks William); the second part is a relatively consequent change where I started using and sharing dictionaries for most of the static strings involved in stylesheets and transformation context; this offers a lot of potential performance improvement but that work is only at its beginning and it introduces an instability factor; I may need further APIs to fully benefit from those changes

He suggests that developers check their applications against the new version to see if the dictionaries change introduces any problems.

The libxml site provides pages summarizing libxml2 changes and libxslt changes, listing changes release-by-release. A complete libxml2 changelog and a complete libxslt changelog are also available.

About libxml and libxslt

libxml and libxslt have become de facto standard XML-processing libraries around which an ever-increasing number of developers seem to be building their XML applications.

Both libraries:

  • are written in portable C, "sticking closely to ANSI C/POSIX for easy embedding"
  • in addition to being complete implementions of the core XML and XSLT specs, support a wide range of XML-related technologies, including:
    • Relax NG
    • XInclude
    • XML Catalogs (and Oasis SGML catalogs)
    • XPointer
    • EXSLT
    • W3C XML Schema
    ...and more
  • include bindings for many other programming languages, including Python, C++, Perl, PHP, Tcl, Ruby, and Java
  • have well-documented, stable APIs
  • are very actively maintained -- Veillard responds very quickly to bug reports he receives, and he welcomes patches (releases typically include a number of changes incorporated from patches submitted by other developers)
  • have been shown, through benchmark testing and widespread actual use, to be among the fastest full-featured XML-parsing and XSLT-transformation solutions currently available
  • are available as packages for many Linux distributions and for the Cygwin environment, and as pre-compiled binaries for a number of other platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Solaris (and if you want to run them on a platform for which packages or pre-compiled binaries are not available, you can easily compile and build them from source)
  • are bundled with a command-line XML parser, xmllint (built on top of libxml2) and a command-line XSLT engine, xsltproc (built on top of libxslt) that are also among the fastest and most fully-featured applications in their class

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