SAX2: summary of Namespace-support arguments

Tim Bray tbray at
Sun Dec 19 00:13:15 GMT 1999

At 12:22 PM 12/18/99 -0500, David Megginson wrote:
>#3 (James Clark)...  James would like to create a new Name class that 
>  includes the
>  original prefix (if any) as well as the Namespace URI and local name.
>#4 (Tim Bray)...  Tim argues
>  that the original prefix shouldn't matter at all, and that apps
>  should see only the cooked Namespace info: the Namespace URI and the 
>  local part.
>(I should note that James and Tim have been conducting this friendly
>debate -- prefix does/doesn't matter -- for quite a while and in many
>contexts other than SAX2.)

Actually, you are slightly mis-characterizing James' position.  I don't
think he cares about which prefix was actually used on any particular
name, but he wants APIs to manifest the prefix/namespace mapping so that
they can be used in things like XPath expressions.

Yes, I have argued repeatedly against this, but have resoundingly lost
that argument every time.  Since I'm obviously right, this can only 
be ascribed to James' devilish political cunning and awesome powers of
salesmanship and persuasion.  Hrumph.  Anyhow, since XPath and some
other things now rely on access to prefix-ns mappings, it seems obvious 
that SAX has to provide this info one way or another. -Tim

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