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Tip: The XML Encoding Trap

Learn why it's not a good idea to read an XML file and store it in a string.

String xml = fileUtils.readTextFile("XMLfile.xml");

It's not a good idea to read an XML file and store it in a String because it wastes memory. The XML specifies its encoding in the XML header, so when you read a file, you need to know the encoding beforehand.

All XML parsers accept an InputStream as a parsing source and they correctly figure out the encoding themselves.


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Octavia Andreea Anghel is a senior PHP developer currently working as a primary trainer for programming teams that participate at national and international software-development contests. She consults on developing educational projects at a national level. She is a coauthor of the book "XML Technologies--XML in Java" (Albastra, ISBN 978-973-650-210-1), for which she wrote the XML portions. In addition to PHP and XML, she's interested in software architecture, web services, UML, and high-performance unit tests.
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