Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

java.net.MalformedURLException: unknown protocol: j

15th December 2007

I know that that there better things to call a blog post than to use part of an error message that I got from Saxonica‘s Saxon while I was converting XML files into PHP equivalents for the visitor information section of my main website. I use the open source Saxon-B rather than the commercial Saxon-SA and it fulfils all of my needs and version 8 and later (it has now reached 9.0.0.2) handle the XSLT 2.0 features that I need to make the transformations really clever. Also, because Saxon is available as a jar file, it is cross platform so long as you have Java on board. There are, however, some slight differences in behaviour. I now run thte thing in Linux and any Windows-style file locations are not recognised. I had the file path in a DTD declaration starting with "J:\" and that was thought to be a protocol like file, http, https, ftp and so on because of the colon. There’s no j protocol so Java gets confused and, voilà!, you get the rather obscure error that titles this post. Otherwise, the migration of the Perl script that creates XSLT files and fires off the required XML to PHP transformations was a fairly straightforward exercise once file locations and shebang line were set right.

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