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[xml-dev] Are subelements significant by themselves?

Does an element have any useful significance without knowing the elements
above it?  In other words, without knowing anything about the parent
element(s) of a given child element, is the child element useful for
anything at all?

What if the child element belonged to a different namespace than the parent
element(s)?  Would an application that "understands" that namespace be able
to process the child element without knowing anything about the parent

If there any applications of this out there, can some of them be mentioned?

Seairth Jacobs