Namespaces - defaulting question (re:WD-xml-names19980916)

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Nov 5 22:42:36 GMT 1998

Steve Harris wrote:

> Reading the Namespaces specification, I've found contradictory examples
> of namespace defaulting. Any input in determining the proper
> interpretation would be greatly appreciated.

Your problem is that you are confusing *scope* with *defaulting*.
The scope of a namespace declaration is the whole of the element
in which it is contained, including the element type.
So the comment below is true:

>   The first example is as follows:
> <?xml version="1.0"?>
>   <x xmlns:edi=''>
>   <!-- the edi namespace applies to the "x" element and contents -->
> </x>

> Here, the inline comment suggests that the element 'x' now lies within
> the 'edi' namespace.

So it does, in the sense that the scope of the "edi:' prefix is the
element "x".  But the name "x" is not defaulted to the edi namespace;
it would have to be "edi:x" for that, or the edi namespace would
have to also be the default namespace through the presence of
an "xmlns=''" attribute.

Instead the namespace of "x" is the current default namespace if any,
or no namespace if there is no current default.

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)

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as:
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list