What is a namespace ... really?

Borden, Jonathan jborden at mediaone.net
Fri Jan 15 14:47:49 GMT 1999

This is the *current* state of affairs. There are people who also believe
that in the future the namespace concept is to be extended to incorporate
Schema definition. That is, when a namespace URN points to a Schema
definition, the Schema may, can or will be enforced in the same way that a
DTD is enforced by a validating parser and a <!DOCTYPE definition.

So to summarize, today a namespace is simply a naming scheme but in the
future namespaces may become part of a typing scheme.

Jonathan Borden

> Roger L. Costello writes:
>  > I thought I knew what a namespace was ... but now I think perhaps I
>  > don't.
> It's simpler than you think.
>  > That is, is the file itself (BookCatalogue.dtd) a namespace?
> No -- it's irrelevant as far as the current namespaces REC is
> concerned.
>  > In all the examples that I see in the namespace spec they don't
>  > refer to a specific file.  Instead, they refer to "some place",
>  > such as:
>  >
>  > http://www.w3.org/TR/HTML/
> Not a place, just a unique URI.  The URI doesn't actually have to work
> (a URI that throws up a 404 is just fine).
>  > So, perhaps the "directory" that BookCatalogue.dtd resides in is the
>  > namespace? i.e.,
>  >
>  > file://localhost/xml-course/xml-part1/
> No.
>  > I thought I knew the way, now I don't.  Help me find my way again.
> A namespace is very similar to a package name in Java -- it's just a
> way of disambiguating names.  Consider
>   package com.megginson.xml;

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