Fw: Namespaces

James Clark jjc at jclark.com
Thu Feb 4 12:21:28 GMT 1999

Oren Ben-Kiki wrote:

> Is it possible to recast the namespace recommendation as a transformation
> from an XML tree with 'xmlns' attributes and '...:' prefixes into a tree
> which doesn't have them, but with modified element and attribute names,

Yes.  The transformation changes some element type names and attribute
names from strings to structured objects that contain a URI and a
string.  There are some subtleties (an XML editor would probably want to
be able to preserve prefixes; some applications need to now what
namespace prefix bindings are in effect on a particular element) but
these can be handled within this approach.

> such
> that the semantics of the resulting tree under the rest of the relevant
> recommendations (ignoring namespaces) is preserved?

I don't understand what you mean by "preserving semantics".

> One would of course have
> to pass the DTDs (or other schema files) through the same transformation.

Why? DTDs are used only at the pre-transformation stage. I would expect
a future XML Schema language to operate purely on the
post-transformation tree.

> if "all" the namespaces do
> is prefix the names with a URI,

Qualify not prefix. A URI-qualified name is not a string but a
URI/string pair.

> why should the relationship between expanded
> names be different then that between "normal" names?

Because it's URI-qualified and therefore capable of independent
interpretation.  A URI-qualified name is a different kind of object from
a "normal" name.

> Anyway, how come
> it is "application dependent"

I said it was dependent on other applications *or other specifications*.

> don't DTDs and schema language have a lot to
> say about it?

DTDs don't have anything to say about it because they don't know about
namespaces.  I would expect a namespace-aware Schema language to have a
lot to say about it.


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