SAX, Java, and Namespaces (was Re: Restricted Namespaces forXML)

Paul Prescod paul at
Fri Feb 5 14:10:26 GMT 1999

hpyle at wrote:
> Although James Clarks' page does explain the state of affairs very clearly,
> it's still talking to the wrong people.  

I don't think that "average developers" need to worry about namespaces. It
is quite simple to build powerful, useful applications without them. I
mean if you are implementing RDF or XSL then you need them, but short of
that, I wouldn't bother.

> Namespaces seem to be an essential solution to two problems
> encountered when designing XML stuctures:
> - how can I distinguish my tags from everyone else's, to avoid confusion
> (eg: "<my:pastry/>");

Actually, this problem is very RARELY encountered. If you are building a
typical one-organization application then what are you doing with "other
people's tags" in your documents? I mean, if you are writing typical
software, it will choke and die when it comes upon tags it does not know

> - how can I use a common repository of meaningful tags at the same time
> (eg: "<frozen:pastry><my:sauce
> iso:litres_quantity="0.5"/></frozen:pastry>")

You don't need namespaces for that. Just create a "liters_quantity"
element type and include it in your various DTDs with parameter entities.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did,
but she did it backwards and in high heels."
                                               --Faith Whittlesey

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