XML in the real world... Was "Re: Another look at namespaces"

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Fri Sep 17 14:30:23 BST 1999

David Carlisle writes:

 > True, but personal experience is nevertheless a useful guide.
 > Given that it is (in my experience) so much more inconvenient to
 > use a namespace aware application (such as xslt, which is currently the
 > most common namespace aware application) with XHTML using multiple
 > namespaces, I have to ask, has _anyone_ who is proposing that this is a
 > good idea actually tried using the multiple namespace approach in
 > practice?

I can answer the second part -- I don't think that it's a good idea,
but I have tried it in practice.  Because RDF changed its Namespace
URI at the last minute when it went to REC, there are major deployed
RDF document bases (especially RPMFind and DMOZ) that use still the
wrong Namespace URI for RDF, and cannot easily change to the correct
URI now because they're trapped by deployed software.

In two separate projects, I tried implementing support for the legacy
(incorrect) Namespace URI, and doing so was trickier than I expected,
because it complicates the simple hashing schemes that are necessary
to process Namespace-qualified elements efficiently.  For now, I've
decided to support only the correct RDF-Syntax Namespace URI (the one
in the final REC), but I don't imagine that DMOZ or RPMFind will be
able to become conformant any time soon because they have extremely
large user bases with the old Namespace URI hard-coded in their

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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