The per-element-type namespace partition

Andrew Layman andrewl at
Tue Dec 21 21:30:23 GMT 1999

Maybe some day Tim and I or some other member of the Namespaces WG will
write a nice prose document explaining in lengthy terms what and why the
Namespaces Specification says so tersely and occasionally obscurely.  It
would save us going through this every-three-month exercise in hermeneutics.

However, the present lack of such a document explaining why the various
choices were made does not affect the actual specification, which, for
better or for worse, says that the following two things are not necessarily
the same:

	<foo:a foo:href="bar">
	<foo:a href="bar">

Tim wrote a nice appendix, A, that does a decent job of describing this
(though, as Murray Maloney has pointed out, the 

That disclaimer aside, I recall that a major part of the motivation for the
distinction was the desire to allow for "global attributes," where a
qualified attribute such as "foo:href" could have a definition and meaning
independent of the element within which it appeared, and at the same time
continue the current practice fostered by DTDs in which an unqualified
attribute may have a definition and meaning local to the enclosing element.

I hope this is helpful,
Andrew Layman

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
unsubscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list