Statement from HTML WG

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Sep 20 22:13:29 BST 1999

Steven Pemberton scripsit:

> The only place where the distinction between using one namespace and
> using three is important is when including fragments of xhtml in
> another document. You can include a namespace at the top of a
> document, but there are other mechanisms available at that point for
> distinguishing the markup used, for the namespace not to be important.

But XHTML 1.0 does not support the reuse of its elements in documents
other than XHTML 1.0 documents.  So what purpose does any namespace
at all serve?

> However, in a fragment such as the following:
>               <notes>
>                 <p xmlns=''>
>                     This is also available
> 			<a href="">online</a>. 
>                 </p>
>               </notes>
> the namespace is the only mechanism available for identifying the
> vocabulary intended.

This is not XHTML 1.0.  XHTML 1.0 claims to be a reformulation of
HTML 4.0 as XML, and HTML 4.0 does not support (even once you are past
the syntactic issues) being embedded in random XML documents.

John Cowan                                   cowan at
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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