Namespace handling in XML Processors

Tyler Baker tyler at
Tue Aug 31 02:15:25 BST 1999

Marc.McDonald at wrote:

> I pretty much second what Elliot has said on this subject. Namespaces
> basically do nothing but sow confusion, as noted in previous message threads
> about namespaces and validation.

[Much that has all ready been said and is completely true deleted]

> All right, a new namespace firestorm begins ;)

I gave up on the namespace issue a long time ago. Having unique element names when combining
XML content from different sources is a problem that needs to be addressed and I think the
knee-jerk response to solving that problem was done the the "Namespaces in XML"
recommendation. Well like many others working with XML I  have ignored "Namespaces in XML" as
much as I can. The namespaces problem of combining element content from different sources I
have solved at the API/Software level instead of at the Parser/Validation level. If your
software is complicated enough to have to deal with content from a variety of sources, then
the odds are you will need to handle the content from each source in a special way. For
example, if you have some sort of content that deals with the RealNetworks namespace (if they
even have one) the odds are the content will need to be handled much differently and with
different API's than content that belongs to the Microsoft namespace. The difficulty of course
is gluing all of this together into something manageable and that works. Using "Namespaces in
XML" will only complicate this challenge.

Well anyways, wasting any more time on this pointless debate I think would be a waste of your
time and everyone elses who see the obvious flaws of "Namespaces in XML" for non-trivial
software. I would suggest dealing with namespaces at the software level in your application
and not worry about "Namespaces in XML" ever becoming something necessary or even usable for
most software applications that deal with XML (-:

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