Namespaces and interoperability (was Re: SAX, Java, and Namespaces)

James Robertson jamesr at
Sat Feb 6 23:47:34 GMT 1999

At 00:48 6/02/1999 , hpyle at wrote:

  | Paul Prescod wrote,
  | > I don't think that "average developers" need to worry about namespaces.
  | ...
  | > If you are building a
  | > typical one-organization application then what are you doing with "other
  | > people's tags" in your documents?
  | Maybe my perspective is a little warped.  I'm working on healthcare
  | applications in the UK - interoperability will (sometime) become a big
  | deal. :-)

Well, let me put it like this then:

You are working out a structured interchange format. If you
want structure, you'll need a DTD, otherwise there is absolutely
no way of validating that you have got correct data.

If you have a DTD, then namespaces are irrelevant: they simply
don't work together in any meaningful way.

Or to put it another way: allowing arbitrary nesting of someone
else's tags doesn't achieve anything. You still have to know
what to do with them when you receive them.

In summary: get stuck into writing a DTD, and ignore this
whole "namespaces" mess ... 


James Robertson
Step Two Designs Pty Ltd
SGML, XML & HTML Consultancy
jamesr at

"Beyond the Idea"
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