[Q] How should SAX support Namespaces?

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Mon Jul 20 13:36:50 BST 1998

How should SAX support namespaces?  I can think of three options:

1. Simply ignore them, and require the XML application to do the work
   (all of the necessary information is passed on by SAX).

2. Use the current interface, but allow namespace-aware SAX processors
   to prepend namespace URIs to element type and attribute names, as in

   startElement("urn:www.megginson.com:doc", ...)
   endElement("urn:www.megginson.com:doc", ...)

3. Revised org.xml.sax.AttributeList and org.xml.sax.DocumentHandler
   to include the namespace as a separate (possibly-null) argument:

   startElement("urn:www.megginson.com", "doc", ...)
   endElement("urn:www.megginson.com", "doc", ...)

Given that many major XML-based standards (RDF, XSL, etc.) plan to
use namespaces, it probably doesn't make sense to offload the work to
the application as implied by #1, so the best choices would be #2 or
#3.  I would be very interested in hearing opinions, especially (but
not exclusively) from people who have implemented SAX on either the
parser or the application side.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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