namespace of attributes?

Joe Lapp jlapp at
Mon Sep 13 03:06:45 BST 1999

At 12:40 PM 9/12/1999 -0700, Mark D. Anderson wrote:
>So does this mean that A.2 should be clarified to say that unqualified
>attributes should not be assigned the per-element-type partition if it
>obtained its namespace through a default namespace?

I believe 5.3 and A.2 are both correct and consistent with each other,
although I have to admit that the spec originally gave me trouble too.  My
conclusion was that it is *not* possible to put an attribute in the default
namespace.  An attribute goes in the per-element namespace unless the
attribute explicity has a prefix that assigns it a namespace.

>And what is a namespace-aware validator (is there such a thing?) supposed
>to do here? If "good" was declared as 
><!ATTLIST good a (2|3) 1 3 b CDATA 17>
>then which have i defaulted, a global "b", or a "n1:b"?
>and is the "a" attribute in violation of the dtd while n1:a is not?
>is it in violation because it was not declared or has the wrong value?

I had trouble making sense of your ATTLIST declaration, but I don't believe
it is possible to assign namespaces to anything but element or attribute
instances unless you use ATTLIST to define a default xmlns value for every
element.  Consider a DTD that contains the following declarations:

<!ELEMENT e1 (e3)*>
<!ATTLIST e1 xmlns "urn:namespace1">
<!ELEMENT e2 (e3)*>
<!ATTLIST e2 xmlns "urn:namespace2">

To which namespace does e3 belong?

I can only conclude that DTDs and namespaces don't mix.  However, I'm
believe that the namespaces of the elements and attributes in the following
DTD subset is unambiguous and uncontroversial:

<!ELEMENT a:e1 (a:e3)*>
<!ATTLIST a:e1 xmlns:a "urn:namespace1">
<!ELEMENT b:e2 (a:e3)*>
<!ATTLIST b:e2 xmlns:b "urn:namespace2">
<!ATTLIST a:e3 xmlns:a "urn:namespace1">

Joe Lapp              (Looking for some good people to help design
Senior Engineer        and build the Internet's business-to-business
webMethods, Inc.       XML infrastructure.  We are 100% Java.)
jlapp at

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