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   Re: Question About Namespaces and DTDs

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  • From: Wayne Steele <xmlmaster@hotmail.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2000 14:58:22 -0700 (PDT)

>From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
>I have to admit that there are still too many days
>I wish someone had sat down and made DTDs namespace aware.
>It still doesn't seem that impossible a thing to do,
>though it's probably been too late for a long while.

Let's go back to those good old days of 1998...After XML 1.0 was released, 
but before Namespaces.

The only way you could do this is to apply DTD's in a way inconsistent with 
XML 1.0.

Once you did that, you're encouraging people to pass around documents, with 
DTDs, that are invalid as per XML 1.0.

With validation and DTDs so new and unusual (to the html world), I guess it 
was decided that deprecating them for a new "namespace-aware-DTD" would be 
unwise. Especially since 1) this would break SGML compatability, and 2) some 
sort of XML-Schema was "right around the corner".

Namespaces (at least by some people) were seen as part-and-parcel of 
Schemas. And, as one person told me, "They're like oil and warter: DTDs and 
Schema don't mix".

That's my take on it, at least. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I agree with you, Simon. It should have just been done, and gotten over 
with. Come to think of it, the Namespaces spec has a lot of other funnies as 

Mistakes will happen, and while irritating, it hasn't actually killed 
anyone. What is more important is that the parties involved (ie the W3 gods, 
Working Group members, Namespaces Rec editors) understand that they did the 
wrong thing, and will try to not do it again.

I think these people are aware of the problems with namespaces, but I don't 
know if they share my opinion of these problems as mistakes they've 
inflicted on us.

-Wayne Steele

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