URL: 19 Short Questions about Namespaces (with Answers)

James Clark jjc at jclark.com
Tue Feb 9 01:38:18 GMT 1999

Tim Bray wrote:
> At 05:06 PM 2/8/99 -0500, David Megginson wrote:
> >In response to several private requests, I've recast my posting into a
> >simple HTML page at the following location:
> David, this is a terrific piece of work.  One of your answers makes
> me nervous:
>  [Q] What is the name of the third attribute in the example above?
>  [A] The name is xmlns:z from the XML 1.0 perspective; from the Namespaces
>      perspective, this attribute is a declaration.
> Somehow the part beginning "... from the Namespaces perspective" feels
> a bit like the question is being dodged: I'm spinning my wheels a bit
> in trying to suggest something better.  The point that's not being made
> is that in a namespace-aware system, the xmlns:z attribute is
> possibly just not there.  For example (I just checked) if you use
> expat and enable namespace processing, you just don't see the
> xmlns attributes

expat should probably have a start/endNamespaceDeclaration callback:
some applications (such as XSL) need to know what declarations are in

> - I don't think this is compulsory, but it also
> isn't surprising.  I'll try to think this over some more, but somehow
> [Q] What's it's name?
> [A] It's a declaration.
> doesn't quite feel satisfying.

Seems OK to me.  Compare:

[Q] What is the target name in

  <?xml version="1.0"?>

processing instruction?

[A] From the XML 1.0 perspective, it's not a processing instruction,
it's a declaration.


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