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   Namespaces design implementation?

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  • From: Tyler Baker <tyler@infinet.com>
  • To: xml-dev@ic.ac.uk
  • Date: Sat, 22 Aug 1998 05:06:08 -0400

I am sure this question has come up in private circles, but on this
particular list the question of whether to integrate the current
namespaces draft into the core of an XML parser/XML framework or else
put it all in a layer on top of the parser/framework has not come up to

Many XML documents will not take advantage of namespaces, so having
namespaces support in this case would be bad since the namespace
processing involved to support namespaces could seriously slow down an
XML parser (depending on the implementation of course).  On the other
hand, integrating namespaces support into the core of an XML parser
could allow the parser writer to process documents that utilize
namespaces much more efficiently than if the namespaces processing were
done at a layer on top of the parser.

I think the main question I have is, will the namespaces draft ever
eventually be integrated into a future draft of XML, e.g. XML 1.1?

If namespaces are to be regarded now as a core de-facto part of XML (the
current XSL spec seems to make this case) then I would think that all
parsers will in a sense need to have namespaces support integrated into
directly into them.  In this sense namespaces support would be on par
with entity support.  If on the other hand, namespaces will always be a
separate and distinct layer on top of XML, then I suppose that aside
from processing efficiency considerations, it would make sense for
parser writers to have samespace support as an optional layer on top of
an XML parser.

The reason I ask this is that right now I have to make a major design
decision about how to integrate namespaces support into the
parser/formatter I have been working on.  I have about 5 different
implementation designs that I have worked up, each with their own
memory, speed, and API ease of use tradeoffs, so figuring out the answer
to this question is quite important.  XML can do a lot of great things
without namespaces, so keeping namespaces as a separate and distinct
layer gets my personal vote.  Nevertheless, I am a peon in the whole
scheme of things who has no real input into this particular issue so any
help in obtaining an answer to the previously stated questions would be
greatly appreciated.

Thanx in advance,


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