Architectural Forms and Namespaces (Was: Re: SAX, Java, and Namespaces )

W. Eliot Kimber eliot at
Fri Feb 5 18:51:12 GMT 1999

At 05:45 PM 2/5/99 +0000, Clark Evans wrote:

>I don't see one or the other used.  I see them 
>being used in combination.  What am I missing?

It was true of the original namespace approach (but may not be with the
latest), that anything you could say with namespaces you could also say
with architectural mappings (that is, binding an element or attribute
instance to a globally-unique name). The reverse was not (and is not) true:
there are many things you can say with architectures that you cannot say
with name spaces.

Name spaces and architectures were (and hopefully still are) complementary
at least to the degree that the use of one did not interefere with use of
the other and the two could be used in combination in various clever ways.

Note that one of the key things that architectures provide that name spaces
do not is an explicit definition of how to validate a document against the
syntactic requirements of the architecture--this is because the
architecture mechanism uses DTD as its formal definition, thus any document
can be validated against its architectural DTD. In addition, the
architecture is, by definition of the Architecture standard, a definition
of the *semantics* of the architecture (whatever that might mean and
however they might be defined), not just the definition of a vocabulary of
element types and attributes. This is a subtle but important distinction.

Note that any vocabulary of names used as a name space can also be used as
an architecture.


<Address HyTime=bibloc>
W. Eliot Kimber, Senior Consulting SGML Engineer
ISOGEN International Corp.
2200 N. Lamar St., Suite 230, Dallas, TX 75202.  214.953.0004

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