The per-element-type namespace partition

Joe Lapp jlapp at
Mon Dec 20 18:24:33 GMT 1999

At 10:05 AM 12/20/99 -0800, Tim Bray wrote:
>[...] I'm unconvinced that you have a problem.
>If you're going to extract an attribute from a doc and do things
>with it, you probably want to remember what element type it came
>from anyhow.  [...]

Here's a use case.  Assume for purposes of this discussion that both attributes and elements are nodes (among other kinds of nodes).  I want an API that inputs a node that represents a date and outputs the date in a standard format.  To identify the format of the input node, assuming that no crazy AI heuristics can be defined to do the job, the API must lookup the schema definition for this node.  The input node need not belong to any document at this point (eg. the document might not exist yet).

Unless I am missing something, to make this API work for attributes in the per-element-type namespace, I either have to expand my definition of node to include informational items 5 and 6 mentioned previously, or have the node take an additional parent node parameter.  Or I have to require that the node belong to a document -- but I also have use cases for why nodes should have to belong to documents.
Joe Lapp              (Looking for some good people to help design
Principal Architect    and build the Internet's business-to-business
webMethods, Inc.       XML infrastructure.  We are 100% Java.)
jlapp at 

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