URL: 19 Short Questions about Namespaces (with Answers)

Tyler Baker tyler at infinet.com
Tue Feb 9 21:16:30 GMT 1999

"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:

> At 02:58 PM 2/8/99 -0800, Tim Bray wrote:
> >For example (I just checked) if you use
> >expat and enable namespace processing, you just don't see the
> >xmlns attributes - I don't think this is compulsory, but it also
> >isn't surprising.
> This worries me - I'd like to think namespaces (and even their prefixes)
> should be able to survive a round trip through a parser and back to a file.
>  Dropping the xmlns: attributes makes that a lot harder.  Given that some
> documents may have to go through both namespace-aware and namespace-blind
> processing, that could lead to some serious pile-ups.

The clean way to handle this would be to formally split XML 1.0 and XML 1.0 with "Namespaces
in XML" into two totally separate recommendations (in a sense they are that way, but the
"Namespaces in XML" recommendation does not say this one way or the other).  This way you know
what you are dealing with when you get someone else's data over the internet.  Just like XML
has the "standalone" value, I think it would be appropiate for either you to define an NXML
content-type or at the very minimum require that in order to use namespaces, in the XML
declaration of a document you need to have a value of: namespaces="yes".

I still think they should be totally separated into different content-types, but this is
another idea that I had for making things easier for applications to deal with "Namespaces in

For example:

<?xml version="1.0" namespaces="yes"?>

Any ideas on this here?


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