Reserved names and documentation

Borden, Jonathan jborden at
Fri Jan 8 15:24:01 GMT 1999

Andrew Layman wrote:

	comments inline.

> Jonathan's statement below is an understandable error.  My
> original mail was
> sent replying to a claim that namespaces and validation were incompatible.
> I pointed out that the two were perfectly compatible in
> principle, and that
> any limitations one might see are limitations of current DTD
> expressiveness.

	Perhaps this *is* the case, however the current DTD expressiveness *is* the
standard. My statement is perhaps in error because I stated that there was
one way to correct this, I should have wrote "At the exact instant I am
writing this, I can see exactly one solution..." ;:-).

> I then went on to mention that one could write an instance validatable
> against a current DTD using an unmodified, namespace-oblivious processor,
> but that you would have to recognize certain restrictions.

	We agree.

> Lacking that context, one might read the lines quoted from me at
> the end and
> conclude (wrongly) that those restrictions were intrinsic to namespaces.
> They are not.  They are merely limits of the current state of DTDs.

	The limits are intrinsic to the current state of affairs given the current
standard and proposals. When we talk about 'validation' it is only
reasonable that we talk about validation in terms of the current DTD. This
is how I define the term 'validation' in the context of XML.

	One measure of the suitability of a new proposal, (in this case
namespaces), it its ability to layer onto existing standards, e.g. XML 1.0
which includes DTD's. If we have to keep ripping apart existing standards to
define new features everything gets horribly chaotic, people implement
subsets that they arbitrarily choose and whole standard in general gets

> Others have pointed out either (a) algorithms for validating by modifying
> DTDs or (b) new forms of schema other than DTD that are capable--today--of
> supporting both validation and namespaces, with full flexibility.
	The jist of my statement was that namespaces are the first part of a two
part naming system for elements. Do you argee with this? or if not what the
meaning of a namespace?


> If this is indeed the case, as it appears to be, then namespaces have no
> real meaning outside of the xxx: prefix. namespaces become
> nothing more (or
> less :-) than a standard naming mechanism for tags. the namespace
> referenced
> urn is nothing more than an arbitrary statement of who is supposed to own
> the "xxx:" namespace prefix.

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