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   Parameterizing namespaces - possible?

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: "Xml-Dev" <xml-dev@xml.org>
  • Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 18:04:58 -0400

Chris Maden and I have been tossing this one back and forth offlist, and we
figured it was time to bring back since neither of us was 100% positive
whether something is possible or not.

Basically, I was wondering if it would be possible to add namespace
parameters to the already colossal parameterization project that is XHTML

The idea is something like this:

<!ENTITY % ns-prefix "html:">
<!ENTITY % html.ncname "html">
<!ENTITY % html.name "%ns-prefix;%html.ncname;">
<!ELEMENT %html.name; %html.mdl;>

Then you can redefine %ns-prefix; to your heart's content.  

On the other hand, there's section 4.4.8 of XML 1.0:

When a parameter-entity reference is recognized in the DTD and included,
its replacement text is enlarged by the attachment of one leading and one
following space (#x20) character; the intent is to constrain the
replacement text of parameter entities to contain an integral number of
grammatical tokens in the DTD.

That seems to block it fairly severely.  Is there some way to do this?  Or
is this kind of flexibility simply beyond the capabilities of XML 1.0 DTDs?

I'm afraid it's probably the latter.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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