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   Re: Making DTD validation work with namespaces

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  • From: "Paul W. Abrahams" <abrahams@valinet.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 11:41:44 -0400

"Paul W. Abrahams" wrote:
> Here's a suggestion as to how namespaces might be made to work with DTDs while
> doing minimal violence either to the XML spec or the namespace spec.
> The usual method of incorporating a DTD into a document's "doctypedecl" is first
> to declare a parameter entity and then to summon it with a parameter-entity
> reference.  The syntax of the PEDecl that declares the entity is:
>      PEDecl ::= `<!ENTITY ' S "%" Name S EntityDef S? '>'
> Now suppose we adopt the convention that a Name ending in a colon designates
> both a DTD and a namespace prefix.  The EntityDef says where the DTD is to be
> found; we reinterpret the retrieval process to prefix each element name within
> the DTD with the Name.   Since the XML spec says that the EntityDef is used to
> retrieve the entity but does not say precisely what that retrieval process is,
> we're still consistent with XML 1.0.

James Anderson responded:

> If one were expect a processor to implement this mechanism, then one
> could just as well expect a processor to implement the mechanism which
> is already implied by the namespace spec. Namely, to observe attribute
> default bindings for namespace attributes when reading the dtd.

I don't understand what you're saying.  But nevertheless, attribute default bindings
look to me like a red herring, since the issue is how to transform the element names
(not attribute names) that appear in the DTD from the unprefixed form to the
appropriately prefixed form.   (And in fact the same DTD might be invoked more than
once using different prefixes.  My proposal accommodates that possibility without a

> If specified in the internal subset for the root element of a dtd fragment
> which is described externally, the encoding is not significantly more
> complex then the implicit qualification proposed here. It also requires
> just implementing things which are already described...

What is specified, and what encoding are you referring to?

Paul Abrahams


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