Colonialism, SAX, Java, and Namespaces

Ron Daniel RDaniel at
Mon Feb 8 15:37:22 GMT 1999

Tyler Baker says:
> The
> fact that no one is using this supplement to XML called "Namespaces in
> XML" 

I'm sorry Tyler, but that is just not true. I, for one,
am using namespaces in a commercial product. Dave Megginson has
stated several times on this list that he is using namespaces in
things he is selling his customers. Specifications that are
getting ready to come out, such as RDF and XSL, are using them.
This is because they solve a particular problem - groups can
work independently on their specifications without having to
establish a centralized registry of element and attribute names.
You will see more use of namespaces over time, especially as groups
define sets of elements with the intent that people take and reuse them.

The basic ideas of the namespaces spec are really simple:
 1) In order to prevent name collisions we need a way to uniquify the
    associating a URI with them is one way that fits in well with the
 2) Simply concatenating the URI and the name to be qualified would be
    way to do it, but the names would be very long and they wouldn't be
    XML 1.0.
 3) The xmlns: attribute lets us define abbreviations for the URIs (the
    so now we can get pretty short unique names that will be legal.

Things get a bit more involved with the scoping and defaulting rules,
not that much.


Ron Daniel Jr.
139 Townsend Street, Ste. 100
San Francisco, CA  94107
415.222.0100 fax 415.222.0150 
rdaniel at

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