A customer was using DOMDocument60 to create an xml document and then use the same class to load the generated xml document. The document generation part of the program was working fine however when trying to load the document it was returning an unspecified error. The error code was –2147467259 and it made no sense as to why would DOMDocument60 fail to load an Xml document generated by it.
On investigating a bit further I found that the XML being generated had a very long attribute with lot of XML Entities (e.g. &) being used in its value. As I started deleting these XML Entities from the attribute value I saw that the exact position at which the error is happening started shifting.
On playing a bit more I found that the DOMDocument60 can process an attribute with maximum of 65527 XML entities in an attribute. If you have anything more then that then you start getting an Unspecified Error with error code –2147467259 . I believe it might be a buffer overflow exception in the parser. I couldn’t find any documentation around this problem or a fix for this problem however I do believe that this is an extreme usage of Xml.
As a best practice the Xml attributes should have small readable values. For anything as big as 65527 characters in the attribute value I think the Xml Element is the best choice. One should refactor the Xml to ensure that such values are part of element and not attributes.