Namespace Comments (and dtd encoding)

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Aug 6 19:39:43 BST 1998

MURATA Makoto wrote:

> Since the same prefix can be bound to
> different namespaces, it is no longer possible to construct an equivalent
> XML 1.0 DTD from a collection of namespace-schema pairs.  Then, what is
> the point of using prefixes?  In my understanding, one reason that we
> chose colonization rather than reserved attributes is validation by XML 1.0
> parsers.  This reason no longer exists. (Note: The other reason was
> qualification of attributes.)

More precisely, it's still possible to construct DTDs for validation,
but the DTD has to have the prefixes hard-coded into it, and the same
prefix cannot be used for two different namespaces unless there are no
overlapping element names (which cannot be guaranteed).

> One could argue that these two should always
> be in sync, but then what is the point of having the two?  It would have
> been a lot simpler if we had introduced a reserved attribute for specifying
> the namespace of the element.


John Cowan		cowan at
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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