Shocking News: Namespaces and Non-Validation

Richard L. Goerwitz richard at
Thu Sep 10 14:25:47 BST 1998

> I was shocked to hear that namespaces invalidate validation.

It is a bit ironic that, the way namespaces have been designed, it looks
as if the much-maligned schema group is going to be performing a central
role after all.

Namespaces don't so much invalidate validation as do nothing productive
with it (so you have to edit your DTDs to cover all the new:elements
anyway).  To many people's way of thinking, this is broken.

Interesting statement by a recent poster:

> I started by looking at Microsoft site. The publish documentation on
> schema but nothing about DTD. They also say schema is a better way to
> describe XML as it is XML

One has to wonder, if DTDs are abandoned (or become legacy items) whe-
ther, practically speaking, SGML compatibility will end up abandoned
as well.

If that happens, one has to wonder whether a fundamental redesign is in
order.  I.e., if DTDs, SGML, etc. go out the window, why not just go
back to the drawing board?  There's a lot of cruft that only made it
into the XML standard because of SGML compatibility requirements.

I'm as interested in SGML compatibility as the next guy (here I am in a
shop supporting several projects involving SGML; and I just finished
writing a DTD-based XML validator geared especially for people trying
to convert SGML to XML).

But it's too early (for me at least) to tell whether namespaces, XSL,
etc. will keep DTDs and validation in the forefront, or whether they
are actually just laying the groundwork for their replacement and/or


Richard Goerwitz
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