Namespaces and DTDs

Ronald Bourret rbourret at
Tue Mar 9 17:03:20 GMT 1999

Richard L. Goerwitz wrote:

> Maybe I misunderstand, but as far as I can see, namespaces won't help
> you, either.  Why?  Because even if you can refer to, say, your two TITLE
> elements by different prefixes, you'll still have to declare the prefixed
> elements in the DTD as if they were atomic element names.
> Namespaces, in other words, don't solve your problem.  They may make it
> worse, in fact, because you have to know what prefixes you are going to
> declare in a given document to be able to rewrite your DTD to work with
> that document.
> There was a furor two or three months ago on this list about namespaces
> breaking validation.  That furor died down when the namespace spec became
> an official recommendation (a done deal, in other words).

You are correct.  In today's environment (namespace-unaware parsers and no 
way to associate prefixes and URIs in the DTD), you must use the same 
prefixes in the DTD and the document for validation to work.  I didn't 
state this because it was stated repeatedly during the aforementioned 
furor, which I sincerely hope this thread won't reignite.

-- Ron Bourret

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