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   Question About Namespaces and DTDs

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  • From: "Winchel 'Todd' Vincent, III" <winchel@mindspring.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 00:13:09 -0400

In Michael Kay's book "XSLT Programmer's Reference" (2000 Wrox Press), page
25, he writes " . . . serious use of Namespaces is virtually incompatible
with serious use of Document Type Definitions . . . "

In Simon St. Laurent's book "XML Elements of Style" (2000 McGraw-Hill), he
begins Chapter 24, page 196 with "Although the Namespaces in XML 1.0
recommendation grew out of work that began while XML 1.0 was still in
development, the two recommendations don't fit together very smoothly.  The
critical benefits of namespaces -- unique identifiers referenced by variable
prefixes -- are ignored by XML 1.0 parsers, and that can in fact break
validating parsers.  At the same time, however, the Namespaces in XML
recommendation references the validation process as necessary for certain
methods of applying namespace declarations.  Sorting this out can be
complex, and no complete solution has yet appeared -- or is even on the

St. Laurent then provides several pages of explanation.

I feel certain this issue has been discussed before on this list; I simply
was not on the list to read it.  I would be very grateful if someone could
point me to past discussions in the list archive or, even better, a paper
that more fully describes the conflict.

Based on what St. Laurent wrote, it seems to me, at first blush, that this
could be solved by requiring unique namespaces prefixes.  Am I missing
something?  I realize the W3C is not going down this path.  However, I'm
wondering . . . if I were trying to build a global architecture for a
variety of documents that exist within the same industry, wanting each of
those document types to exist in a different namespace (within the industry
architecture) and be able to mix using namespaces, could I not simply
require all applications conforming to that particular industry standard to
use unique prefixes.

A further thought . . . to be manageable, it seems to me that this would
require a registry of prefixes for the particular industry.   Assuming a
registry were possible, would namespaces and DTDs mix?

My apologies if this is a simple question.  I'm trying to get my head around
it and would appreciate any pointers to resources that will provide




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