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   Re: Expanded names are not enough

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <SimonStL@classic.msn.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Thu, 6 Aug 98 13:34:40 UT

James Clark writes:
>I suspect there will be a similar issue with XPointers. If I say:
>  href="http://...#descendant(17,foo:bar)"
>I would expect that the expanded element type names to be matched, not
>the prefixes.  That would mean that to interpret the XPointer, an
>application would need the namespace prefix to namespace URI mapping in
>effect for the element to which href attribute is attached.

This is actually my primary concern with the current namespace proposal: that 
the inheritance model used here makes it difficult to extract subsections of 
documents reliably.  I would strongly prefer NOT to have the client need to 
download the entire document containing the subsection referred to by the 
XPointer - ideally, the server could just send the piece requested.  
(Bandwidth still isn't free, you know.)  This model opens up an awful lot of 
possibilities, but I fear namespaces may snuff it out.

So to make a this kind of request involving a namespace, the client will need 
to expand the prefix within the (foo:bar) which yields URLs like 


Maybe this will work, but it sure makes for a mess.  Then the server needs to 
keep a namespace-expanded version of the documents it's storing if it wants to 
process this with any degree of speed, since parsing the whole document and 
expanding namespaces gets to be a chore when you're answering lots of requests 

What I'd hoped to do with a simple Java servlet now looks like an _incredible_ 
mess.  Maybe the XPointer folks have some better ideas...

Simon St.Laurent
Dynamic HTML: A Primer / XML: A Primer / Cookies

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