Why namespaces?

Mark Birbeck Mark.Birbeck at iedigital.net
Fri Sep 3 13:02:57 BST 1999

Edd Dumbill wrote:
> From my reading of your post it seems to be confusing the prefix with
> the namespace itself. The namespace URI reference identifies the
> namespace.  So, yes, namespaces can be used to distinguish 
> vocabularies globally, put prefixes can't.
> So in the first example you have in an attribute of a containing
> element:
>  xmlns:com="http://foo.bar.org/commands/onesense"
> and the second
>  xmlns:com="http://foo.bar.org/commands/anothersense"
> Therefore implementations shouldn't assume anything from a prefix, but
> derive their meaning from the namespace prefix binding.  Indeed as I
> understand it you can reuse a prefix within an instance, but bound to
> a different namespace. 

That was my point, Edd. I was saying to James that *if* namespaces were
only being used to allow differentiation within a document then all you
need are the prefixs ns1, ns2, ns3, etc. However, I was disagreeing with
him, and saying that we need to differentiate globally, in which case
prefixes are insufficient.

Other than that, I agree with everything else you say on '3 namespaces'.


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