SAX2: Namespace proposal

Eric Bohlman ebohlman at
Sun Dec 19 02:51:11 GMT 1999

On Sat, 18 Dec 1999, Tim Bray wrote:
> Actually, as I just finished arguing in response to your other note, 
> I think what people care about is having the prefix/uri mapping available,
> not knowing what prefix was actually used.  Have I missed something? Is
> there an application scenario where you get
> <a xmlns:a="" xmlns:b="">
>   <a:foo /><b:bar />
>   </a>
> ...and you actually care that the foo and bar had different prefixes?  
> I'd find that really hard to believe.

I can think of one such class of applications: editors or other tools that
transform human-generated XML documents into other human-edited and read
XML documents.  A near-perennial question on some of the Usenet XML
newsgroups is how to keep a tool from transforming <element></element>
into <element/>.  Admittedly, such applications are going to be a
minority, and support for such requirements should probably lurk in the
corners of the interface rather than being the first thing anybody sees
(we do *not* want to encourage developers to think of prefix names as the
"official" identifiers for namespaces!; I have a depressing hunch that a
majority of people who use XSLT believe that "<xsl:for-each>" is *the*
proper name for one of that language's elements, rather than one of
several), but a complete lack of support for such requirements will, IMHO,
encourage people to hack-parse with regexes or the like in such
applications, which is, again IMHO, not a Good Thing (and, YAIMHO, a Worse
Thing than indulging people's religious beliefs about how a document's
"source code" should "look").

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