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   Re: namespace prefixes within attribute values

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  • From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>, XML-Dev Mailing list <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2000 13:34:23 -0800

At 11:53 AM 3/9/00 -0500, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
>Both the XML Schemas drafts and the XLink drafts use namespace prefixes
>within attribute values.  As far as I can tell, this usage isn't sanctioned
>by the Namespaces in XML Recommendation.

You are correct.  It isn't sanctioned because it wasn't contemplated by
any of the people who wrote the spec.

>I'm not sure I can recommend this kind of usage as best practice.  Among
>other things, it isn't clear that applications - which should be processing
>these attribute values - will ever get the prefix information, given some
>strongly held beliefs that prefixes are throwaway info for the parser only.

I agree; I have argued repeatedly that this is the wrong way to go, and
I have repeatedly lost that argument, usually at the hands of James Clark.
In any case, the argument's over; the DOM explicitly makes prefix
mapping information available so that you can do this kind of stuff.  
Furthermore, I seem to remember reading that schemas are going to recognize
QName (in the namespace spec sense) as a type.

So it's a done deal, and rapidly getting wired into the infrastructure.  
And having looked at a couple of implementations that use it, it doesn't 
look that bad.  -Tim

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