[Q] How should SAX support Namespaces?

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Mon Jul 20 23:10:28 BST 1998

Michael Kay writes:

 > But rather than pass through the URN of the namespace in
 > each call, I would pass an integer identifying it within the
 > set of namespaces used in the document, with a separate
 > function to map that to a URN.

That will work as long as all namespaces are global (an approach which
I personally prefer); however, given that locally-scoped namespaces
may come in in the future, it would be nice to make SAX more robust
and not to assume that all namespaces will be known at the start of
the parse.

 > I guess people will also want to know the prefix used.
 > Although the prefix is theoretically arbitrary, there are
 > likely to be many conventional prefixes in use and
 > applications may want to leave the prefix unchanged in an
 > output document.

I think that this might better be handled by having the application
map URIs back to standard prefixes; that way, it won't matter if the
source document used "XsL:" "xsl:" "xml-style-language:", etc. -- your
output documents can always have what you consider to be standard
(i.e. "XSL:").

Of course, if you choose not to use namespace processing (perhaps by
choosing a SAX driver that doesn't support it), then you should see
the prefixes.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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