SAX2: Namespace Processing and NSUtils helper class

james anderson James.Anderson at
Fri Dec 17 17:51:08 GMT 1999

That the argument cited below appears in the context of
names/namespaces/xml-encoding is an artifact of xml's genesis. If one leaves
text strings alone for a moment, and permits that, once the document is
decoded, the processing can occur on a symbolic level, then the argument has
no grounds, as the worrisome interface is relegated to the javadoc archives
and never appears in code.

Why are people so worried about the "parts of a name" anyway? In lisp code for
processing stuff decoded from / encoded into xml there is not a single
instance of either (SYMBOL-NAME ...) or (PACKAGE-NAME (SYMBOL-PACKAGE ...)).
The only test is (EQ ...). and even those are primarily by virtue of
classification for method dispatch.

So long as one stays on the "strings" level, however, the need for centralized
registration and rectification will prevail... Move up a level: let namespaces
themselves be first class objects. Parsers appear in any event to be moving
towards interning parsed strings. The processing infrastructure needs
operations to manipulate namespaces. A name should not bind an uri; a
namespace comprises a collection of names. If implemented in a reasonable
fashion, this permits the processor to associate a name with more than one
namespace. given that, a process can guarantee the correct mapping from names
to symbols and thus to processes without need for a centralized authority.

David Megginson wrote:
> Every level of indirection is an open flame because it increases the
> difficulty (and cost) of learning and implementing an API, which
> leads to several problems:
> a) the API is less likely to gain acceptance;
> b) the API is less likely to be implemented correctly; and
> c) the costs of learning, teaching, and documenting the API are higher.

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