SAX2: Namespace Processing and NSUtils helper class

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Wed Dec 15 20:37:47 GMT 1999

At 11:57 AM 12/15/99 -0800, Tim Bray wrote:
>i.e. the namespace processing is highly decoupled from the name
>processing.  Another way to say it is that much name processing will
>be written to deal with one particular vocabulary, and want to just
>deal with names, assuming the NS to have been checked already.

I'm afraid my experience is rather different - that in building XML
applications, people are reading the namespaces spec as providing a new and
more sophisticated name, not a multi-level architecture.  While the
multi-level architecture is intriguing architecturally, I'm not sure that
requiring every application to support it is even worth contemplating.

It's fine as an option, but for many many use cases - especially smaller
use cases where SAX is being used for its quick-and-dirty nature, I think
I'd much rather have the big kludged string.  If I as a programmer have to
deal with this every time I write a handler, or even have to track down
filters, I'll waste a lot of time complaining on XML-dev about what an
utterly idiotic notion namespaces in XML were to begin with.  If I can just
tell the parser my preference, and not be forced into extra work, I'll be a
lot more productive.

>The whole {ns}name notion has a smell to me of pretending that we're
>still living in the pre-namespace era, and we're not.  I mean, you 
>could take all the structs in your C programs and concatenate the
>string representatioons of all the members together and pick them apart
>to do work with them, but that would be perverse.  So is {ns}name.

Until schemas/DTDs are capable of doing real work with namespaces, we are
living in the pre-namespace era.  The W3C dropped the ball on validation
and namespaces, and we've been living with the consequences - life between
'eras' - ever since.

Pretty ugly, sad to say.  But that's another fight.

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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