Another look at namespaces

Marc.McDonald at Marc.McDonald at
Sat Sep 18 00:21:40 BST 1999

> >There is no W3C method to define  a namespace as list of names.
> There is an xml-schema spec in the works destined to do that
> and more.
> One can either take the existing specs at face value at any point in
> history, and not complain about the lack of functionality.  Or you can
> work with
> the model which you forsee you can
In the works does not equal recommendation. In particular, why should XHTML
go off and decide a mechanism  to solve a problem which is a general XML
problem and is being worked on by the schema group?

XHTML should define no namespace at all and await schemas.

The existing namespace spec merely disambiguates. You can't declare the list
of valid names. You can't declare the valid structure. You don't have to use
a namespace unless an element is ambiguous.

If schemas end up extending namespaces (to have a reference to a schema
required for instance), then fine. But, XHTML should not be making that

Also, as noted in other messages, browsers don't use namespaces. So, there
may need to be 2 versions of every XHTML document - one for browsers and one
for XML parsers. I thought the point of XHTML was an XML compatible version
of HTML. That would mean no implicit ending of elements, for instance. An
XHTML document should be acceptable to an HTML browser and an XML 1.0

	It looks to me like the use of namespaces makes that impossible. Is
a browser going to recognize strict:p? And if XHTML documents for browsers
don't use namespaces why do we have to use them with XML?

Marc B. McDonald
Principal Software Scientist

Design Intelligence, Inc.
1111 Third Avenue, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA  98101
marc.mcdonald at
Ph: 206.343-7797
Fax: 206.343.7750

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