SAX2: Namespaces and syntax of compound names

David Brownell david-b at
Fri Jun 11 23:50:13 BST 1999

David Megginson wrote:
> I have just heard a good argument for using the
>   "{URIpart}localpart"
> syntax for compound names rather than the
>   "URIpart localpart"
> I have always preferred the second format because it is easier to
> split (most libraries have a built-in function for splitting around a
> single character), but someone pointed out that the first format has
> the advantage that you can tell simply by testing the first character
> whether or not you have a compound name.

I guess I'm still not at all sold on the notion of turning
legal XML names into illegal ones that embed namespace URIs.
To each his/her own, I guess.

> Of course, Java will still be happier with the second, since String
> operations in Java are painfully expensive.  What does everyone else
> think?

The cost of answering the "what is the namespace for this element?"
and "what is the unscoped/unprefixed name of this element" questions
will be about the same in both cases.  The cost of comparing the long
strings (URI + local name) for equality will also not differ much,
but of course the parser could intern them so that the comparison is
a constant time "==" operation.

- Dave

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