Why SAX needs namespace support

james anderson James.Anderson at mecomnet.de
Tue Jan 26 20:27:36 GMT 1999

Tim Bray wrote:
> ...
> But what on earth makes anyone think that namespaces would be scoped
> in the DOM?

The notion arises where one attempts to maintain the prefix information with
the DOM element (for example, by virtue of making it available in the
interface to the element's identifier). Some people maintain that this, in
itself, is a mistake. Others believe that such a feature is indispensible.
Were it truly indispensible, it would introduce scoping issues into the DOM model.

>      The scoping in XML files is purely a syntactic minimization
> technique.  I.e., if I have a DOM tree modelling the document above
> (surely everyone agrees that I get the same DOM tree from both
> instances) and I go stick a new "f" element as a child of the 'e'
> element, surely it makes no sense to put it in the either the a.b.c
> or x.y.z namespaces auto-magically.  Among other things, it might
> come from some entirely different namespace.

The key is that one can no longer think of it as sticking 'a new "f" element' anywhere.
One is permitted to add only "a.b.c:f" elements, or the like. That is, unless
one recognizes the legitimacy of the "null" namespace and the intent is to add
an element of which the identifier is "in" that namespace.

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