More on Namespaces

Dean Roddey roddey at
Mon Aug 17 19:59:17 BST 1998

>Ok. I understand that. Taken on its face, if the URL is
>unique, the element strings are identical.  It is the
>URL that is the unique part.  It only establishes a mechanism for
>making it unique.  It doesn't carry the promise as a Doctype does
>that at the other end of this, say, system literal is a
>description which not only provides a unique local namespace,
>but also the frequency and occurence of that element in an instance.

Is that really true? If there was going to be an official content to what the
URI of a namespace
points too, shouldn't it just be a definition of the element names its supports
and some human
consumable documentation of what they should be used for in a conforming

It seems that mixing up namespaces and DTDs/Schemas is incorrect. DTDs and
would *use* namespaces, but a namespace itself should be just a namespace,
shouldn't it?
Making a namespace and a DTD/Schema one and the same means that the tags in that
namespace could only be used in a document that matched that DTD/Schema, which
obviously would not be optimal for very open ended sets of tags.

Of course, in many cases, there would be a namespace 'definition' and a
DTD/Schema that
was intended as its primary use I guess. But, overall, does it not make sense
that the
namespace 'definition' just define the tags it can support since that's really
all that a
namespace is: a set of tags that have meaning as a group?

Just a thought...

Dean Roddey
Software Weenie
IBM Center for Java Technology - Silicon Valley
roddey at

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