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   Namespaces and the Valid Document

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  • From: "Stallion, Jason (Cahners)" <JStallion@cahners.com>
  • To: "'xml-dev@xml.org'" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2000 14:37:07 -0400

I foresee a time when my company will want to construct XML documents
according to rules defined in distinct DTDs.  Namespaces will play a part in

But those documents will still need to be validated.  

The URI associated with a namespace prefix does not need to point to a DTD.
Even if it does, there is no requirement in the recommendation that the DTD
play any part in validation.

So how do I validate my document?  Do I need to create a new DTD that
encompasses all of the newly-prefixed elements and attributes?  This could
result in a need for dozens of DTDs:  a new DTD every time I aggregate
someone else's XML document.  Or, at the very least, dozens of external
entity files.  And the possibilities for namespaced attribute combinations
are so numerous that constructing a content model to represent all of those
possibilities seems a daunting proposition.

If all of this is true, what have I really gained by the use of namespaces?
Merely protection against the (rare?) possibility of a name collision?
Seems like a lot of overhead to avoid what could be an infrequent problem.

And if the namespace URI does point to a DTD, is there a parser that *will*
use that DTD as an aid to validation of that part of the document?

Thanks to anyone who wants to weigh in here ...

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