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   Namespace separators

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  • From: John Cowan <cowan@locke.ccil.org>
  • To: XML Dev <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 14:50:48 -0400

I foresee problems with the SAX2 namespace feature.  In particular,
defaulting to a null separator means that some universal names
become confusible.  Thus

	url="http://me.net/foobar" name="scope"
	url="http://me.net/foobars" name="cope"

look the same.  In addition, allowing users to specify random
separators will lead to trouble, because people will not be aware
of which separators are safe and which are not.

The safe separators (those which cannot appear in an XML name or
in an URI) are space, <, >, #, ", {, }, |, \, ^, ~, [, ], and `.
Also various non-ASCII characters (no non-ASCII character can
appear as such in an URI).

If we *must* support multiple namespace characters, then we should
make the property read-only, leaving the choice up to parser
writers rather than application programmers.  Parser writers have
some chance of being aware of the issue.

(The DOM folks are leaning toward "{URL}name" format, BTW, although
I am attempting to persuade them that a leading character is not

John Cowan	http://www.ccil.org/~cowan		cowan@ccil.org
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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