XHTML Validation

21 January 2005

I've added the first new and interesting feature to my weblog in a while: it validates articles I post and edit for XHTML 1.0 Transitional compliance.

Here's a bit of the code that does it:

 * validate the input String to be proper XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
 * @author John M Flinchbaugh
public class XmlValidator extends DefaultHandler {
    private String errorMessage = null;

     * validate input and return the message.  null means good.
     * @param in input xhtml string
     * @return parser message.  null means it passed.
     * @throws SAXException exception from SAXParser
     * @throws ParserConfigurationException exception from
     *      SAXParserFactory
    public String validate(String in)
        throws SAXException, ParserConfigurationException {
        errorMessage = null;
        StringBuffer sb = new StringBuffer();

        // wrap article string in context HTML
        sb.append("<!DOCTYPE html"
            + " PUBLIC \"-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN\""
            + " \"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/"
            + "xhtml1-transitional.dtd\">"
            + "<html><head><title>test</title></head><body><div>");
        InputSource source = new InputSource(
            new StringReader(sb.toString()));
        SAXParserFactory factory = SAXParserFactory.newInstance();
        SAXParser parser = factory.newSAXParser();
        try {
            parser.parse(source, this);
        } catch (IOException ignored) {
            // won't happen, because this is a StringReader
        } catch (SAXParseException parseEx) {
            errorMessage = parseEx.getMessage();

        return errorMessage;

     * error method from DefaultHandler.
     * saves the error message to returned by validate() method
     * @param e parse exception
    public void error(SAXParseException e) throws SAXParseException {
        errorMessage = e.getMessage();

(It wouldn't even let me post this message, until I cleaned up the embedded HTML in the code.)

Filed Under: Web-Dev Java Blog-Code