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Summary  |  Proposal  |  Detail (Summary & Proposal)
JSRs: Java Specification Requests
JSR 173: Streaming API for XML

Stage Access Start Finish
Maintenance Review Ballot 2 View results 12 Jul, 2016 25 Jul, 2016
Maintenance Draft Review 5 Download page 23 Jun, 2016 07 Jul, 2016
Maintenance Release Download page 04 Mar, 2014  
Maintenance Review Ballot View results 17 Dec, 2013 23 Dec, 2013
Maintenance Draft Review 4 Download page 15 Nov, 2013 15 Dec, 2013
Maintenance Draft Review 3 Download page 13 May, 2009 06 Jul, 2009
Maintenance Draft Review 2 Download page 30 Apr, 2007 04 Jun, 2007
Maintenance Draft Review Download page 25 Jan, 2007 26 Feb, 2007
Final Release Download page 25 Mar, 2004  
Final Approval Ballot View results 21 Oct, 2003 03 Nov, 2003
Proposed Final Draft Download page 27 Aug, 2003  
Public Review Download page 04 Jun, 2003 04 Jul, 2003
Community Draft Ballot View results 06 May, 2003 12 May, 2003
Community Review Login page 07 Apr, 2003 12 May, 2003
Expert Group Formation   02 Apr, 2002 14 Jan, 2003
JSR Review Ballot View results 19 Mar, 2002 01 Apr, 2002
Status: Active
JCP version in use: 2.10
Java Specification Participation Agreement version in use: 2.0

The Streaming API for XML (StAX) is a Java based API for pull-parsing XML.

Expert Group Transparency:
  Public Communications
  Issue Tracking


Specification Leads
  Christopher Fry BEA Systems
  Deva Sagar Oracle
Expert Group
  Apache Software Foundation
: Andy Clark
BEA Systems
: Larry Cable
BEA Systems
: Thorick Chow
  BEA Systems
: Christopher Fry
Breeze Factor, LLC
: Gregory M. Messner
James Clark
: Simon Horrell
Haustein, Stefan
: Stefan Haustein
: David Stephenson
: Glenn Marcy
Intalio, Inc.
: Arnaud Blandin
: K Karun
: Deva Sagar
Slominski, Aleksander
: Aleksander Slominski
James Strachan
  Sun Microsystems, Inc.
: Lance Andersen
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
: Joe Fialli
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
: Rajiv Mordani

This JSR produced its Final Release under JCP 2.1.

Updates to the Original JSR The following information has been updated from the original request:

Oracle has replaced the Maintenance Lead.

Maintenance Lead: Joe Wang

E-Mail Address:

Telephone Number: +1 425 945 8760

Fax Number: -


JSR 173 moved to JCP 2.9 as part of the Maintenance process.

2.15 Provide detailed answers to the transparency checklist, making sure to include URLs as appropriate:

* Is the schedule for the JSR publicly available, current, and updated regularly?
Answer: The JSR is currently going through a maintenance release which will be on the same schedule as the JDK 8, which is available publicly

* Can the public read and/or write to a wiki for the JSR?
Answer: Yes the wiki is available on the project for JSR 173 at

* Is there a publicly accessible discussion board for the JSR that you read and respond to regularly?
Answer: Publicly accessible mailing lists (, ) with online browsable archives have been created for JSR-173. These can be used for discussion. These are newly created as of April 2013 and I will be monitoring and responding to them regularly.

* Have you spoken at conferences and events about the JSR recently?
Answer: No

* Are you using open-source processes for the development of the RI and/or the TCK?
Answer: The RI is an open source project on The TCK was developed at the time of original JSR release. It is not currently available on a public open source website but can be made available if needed.

* What are the Terms of Use required to use the collaboration tools you have prepared to use with the Expert Group, so that prospective EG members can judge whether they are compatible with the JSPA?
Answer: For future releases including maintenance release currently underway, the mailing list given above ( may be used.

2.16 Please describe how the RI and TCK will de delivered, i.e. as part of a profile or platform edition, or stand-alone, or both. Include version information for the profile or platform in your answer.

2.17 Please state the rationale if previous versions are available stand-alone and you are now proposing in 2.13 to only deliver RI and TCK as part of a profile or platform edition (See sections 1.1.5 and 1.1.6 of the JCP 2 document).

2.18 Please provide a description of the business terms for the Specification, RI and TCK that will apply when this JSR is final.

Specification license
TCK license

2.19 Please describe the communications channel you have established for the public to observe Expert Group deliberations, provide feedback, and view archives of all Expert Group communications.

2.20 What is the URL of the Issue Tracker that the public can read, and how does the public log issues in the Issue Tracker?

2.21 Please provide the location of the publicly accessible document archive you have created for the Expert Group.


Oracle has taken the Maintenance Lead role.

Maintenance Lead: Deva Sagar

E-Mail Address:

Telephone Number: +1 856 359 2925

Fax Number: -


The following Maintenance Lead was added:

Maintenance Lead: Thorick Chow

E-Mail Address:

Telephone Number: +1 415 402 7677

Fax Number: +1 415 402 7250


Maintenance Lead: Larry Cable

E-Mail Address:

Telephone Number: +1 415 402 7639

Fax Number: +1 415 402 7250


Specification Lead: Ron Benson

E-Mail Address:

Telephone Number: +1 415 402 7552

Fax Number:

Original Java Specification Request (JSR)

Identification | Request | Contributions | Additional Information

Section 1. Identification

Submitting Member: BEA Systems

Name of Contact Person: Christopher Fry

E-Mail Address:

Telephone Number: 415 402 7426

Fax Number: 415 402 7250

Specification Lead: Christopher Fry

E-Mail Address:

Telephone Number: 415 402 7426

Fax Number: 415 402 7250

NOTE that this information has been updated from this original request.

Initial Expert Group Membership:

  • BEA Systems
  • James Clark, Thai Open Source Software Center
  • K Karun, Oracle Corporation
  • Gregory Messner, The Breeze Factor
  • Aleksander Slominski, Indiana University
  • James Strachan, dom4j
  • Anil Vijendran, Sun Microsystems
Supporting this JSR:
  • Sun Microsystems
  • BEA Systems
  • Oracle
  • Breeze Factor
  • Thai Open Source Software

Section 2: Request

2.1 Please describe the proposed Specification:

The Streaming API for XML (StAX) parsing will specify a Java-based, pull-parsing API for XML. The streaming API gives parsing control to the programmer by exposing a simple iterator based API. This allows the programmer to ask for the next event (pull the event) and allows state to be stored in a procedural fashion.

Two recently proposed JSRs, JAXB and JAX-RPC, highlight the need for an XML Streaming API. Both data binding and remote procedure calling (RPC) require processing of XML as a stream of events, where the current context of the XML defines subsequent processing of the XML. A streaming API makes this type of code much more natural to write than SAX, and much more efficient than DOM.

The goal of this API is to develop APIs and conventions that support processing XML as a stream. The specification will address three main areas:

  • Develop APIs and conventions that allow a user to programmatically pull parse events from an XML input stream.
  • Develop APIs that allow a user to write events to an XML output stream.
  • Develop a set of objects and interfaces that encapsulate the information contained in an XML stream.
The specification should be easy to use, efficient, and not require a grammar. It should include support for namespaces, and associated XML constructs. The specification will make reasonable efforts to define APIs that are "pluggable".

Non-goals of this specification include:

  • Specifying a validation API. Validation will be done in the layer above the streaming parser. This does not preclude passing validation parameters to an underlying parser.
  • Specific dependence on an XML grammar.
  • Support for applications that transform or edit a DTD.

2.2 What is the target Java platform? (i.e., desktop, server, personal, embedded, card, etc.)


2.3 What need of the Java community will be addressed by the proposed specification?

This specification will provide a standard, efficient, easy to use way to parse XML.

2.4 Why isn't this need met by existing specifications?

Two standard main approaches for processing XML exist: 1) the Simple API for XML processing (SAX) and 2) DOM (Document Object Model).


To use SAX one writes handlers (objects that implement the various SAX handler APIs) that receive callbacks during the processing of an XML document. The main benefits of this style of XML document processing are that it is efficient, flexible, and relatively low level. It is also possible to change handlers during the processing of an XML document allowing one to use different handlers for different sections of the document. One drawback to the SAX API is that the programmer must keep track of the current state of the document in the code each time one processes an XML document. This creates overhead for XML processing and may lead to convoluted document processing code.


DOM provides APIs to the programmer to manipulate the XML as a tree. At first glance this seems like a win for the application developer because it does not require writing specific parsing code. However this perceived simplicity comes at a very high cost: performance. Some implementations require the entire document to be read into memory, so for very large documents one must read the entire document into memory before taking appropriate actions based on the data.

Another drawback is the programmer must use the DOM tree as the base for handling XML in the document. For many applications the tree model may not be the most natural representation for the data.

2.5 Please give a short description of the underlying technology or technologies:

Standard XML parsing technology.

2.6 Is there a proposed package name for the API Specification? (i.e., javapi.something, org.something, etc.)*

2.7 Does the proposed specification have any dependencies on specific operating systems, CPUs, or I/O devices that you know of?


2.8 Are there any security issues that cannot be addressed by the current security model?


2.9 Are there any internationalization or localization issues?

Must handle standard character encodings.

2.10 Are there any existing specifications that might be rendered obsolete, deprecated, or in need of revision as a result of this work?

No, may need to revise JAXP, JAXB and JAX-RPC to take advantage of this work.

2.11 Please describe the anticipated schedule for the development of this specification.

The final schedule will need to be determined by the expert group. However, it is anticipated that a reasonably solid draft should be available in the Fall.

2.12 Please describe the anticipated working model for the Expert Group working on developing this specification.

It is anticipated there will be a face-to-face kick-off meeting. Subsequent work will be done by email. First we will define use cases, then we will focus on APIs.

The goal will be to attempt to develop a consensus in the expert group over the main APIs and technologies.

Section 3: Contributions

3.1 Please list any existing documents, specifications, or implementations that describe the technology. Please include links to the documents if they are publicly available.

Java APIs for XML based RPC

XML Data Binding Specification

XML Pull Parser 2

XML Stream API

Xerces XNI Pull Parser Configuration

DOM Pull Parser for Python

Microsoft's XML Reader

3.2 Explanation of how these items might be used as a starting point for the work.

The goal will be to analyze the current needs surrounding XML pull parsing, use this to develop a solid understanding of the use cases and then build agreement on the APIs of the JSR.

Section 4: Additional Information (Optional)

4.1 This section contains any additional information that the submitting Member wishes to include in the JSR.