Namespaces and XML validation

Avi Rappoport avirr at LanMinds.Com
Tue Aug 11 00:35:34 BST 1998

At 9:41 PM -0700 8/10/98, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:

>I think we are in the experimental phase of XML where we are asking the
>wider world whether validation is valuable. To many established SGML people
>the lack of validation is near heresy. [In the same way I suspect many
>people couldn't envisage a useful OO language without multiple inheritance.
>But Java works. Only very occasionally do I think "it would be nice to have
>MI at this point". I suspect it will be the same for XML. As I have often
>(probably boringly) said, I think my community is far more interested in
>semantic than syntactic validity. (Actually they probably don't care about
>either much...)

I'm new to XML, so perhaps could be considered one of the "wider world",
though I'm starting from a somewhat mundane use of it as a data interchange
format creator.

I think that validation is one of the major advantages of XML over other
arbitrary formats.  It allows other people to check their file structure
and content locally and automatically, in their tool of choice, on their
platform of choice.  When I get a file from someone else, I can check to
make sure it validates, rather than writing my own validation code for
every format and every change to every format.  This vastly reduces the
likelyhood of confusion and mistakes, and is incredibly valuable for
everyone concerned.

I'm also deeply interested in how XML will change local and web-wide
searching, and I think validation is important for that as well.  Search
indexes can process valid files in creative and powerful ways.

Another optimist, I'm hoping that SGML is equivalent to C++ and XML is
equivalent to Java: a sleeker and more focussed subset built from the hard
experiences of the past.  We could do without all the hype, though.


Avi Rappoport, Web Site Search Tools Maven <mailto:avirr at>
Search Tools Consulting Site: <>

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