is a prefix without a namespace legal?

Ray Whitmer ray at
Fri Jan 7 13:43:26 GMT 2000

Stefan Haustein wrote:

> Hello,
> splitting a name into localname and prefix seems to cause several
> compatibility problems in SAX and DOM.
> My question is: Is splitting the name legal at all if no valid namespace
> is given?

You can create such a node only by calling a level 1 method instead of the level 2 NS
version.  In this case, I believe it is really not a prefix, but merely a nodename that
happens to have a colon in it.

I believe that a level 2 NS method is required to fail if a prefix is given and no URI.

There is currently an exception for xml and xmlns as prefixes, which have no URI, but it is
not clear to me right now how this can be -- it seems to resurrect the problems with level 1
and level 2 NS mixtures -- the level 2 unique identification is URI + localname, so how can
an xmlns attribute have an empty URI and not collide with non-namespace attributes?

I think you have given me a couple of issues to raise with the DOM working group.


Ray Whitmer
ray at

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