Hi Michael,
I did what you suggested and created an executable class. Again, unless the string  '(','=',',',';','&',')', ':' was placed on the same level as O
O,o, '(','=',',',';','&',')', ':' <P,p it fails with the missing character error. Since this problem occurs when Saxon is not involved, it clearly appears to be some sort of java problem. I have sent the problem to some Java people I know, but am uncertain of getting an answer. I am going to look for a java list today and see if I can get any help there.
Thanks for all you have done,
Mark