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One way to look at this is that it is irrelevant. Except for the
sentence you quote, the namespaces spec talks only about mapping
prefixes to URIs. The result of this mapping is a two-part naming system
for XML names that allows the creation of unique identifiers.
A "namespace" is simply the set of all names that share the same URI.
This is not really relevant to the implementation or use of the naming
For more discussion, see the following, especially myth #1:
Klaus Backert wrote:
> several contributors to this list said, that a namespace is a set.
> In http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-xml-names-19990114 the first definition
> [Definition:] An XML namespace is a collection of names ... XML namespaces
> differ from the "namespaces" conventionally used in computing disciplines in
> that the XML version has internal structure and is not, mathematically
> speaking, a set ...
> I would appreciate an explanation very much, because I want to learn more
> about namespaces - and not only to follow the rather confusing RDDL-thread
> ;-) Is a namespace a set or not? Does it depend? Does it matter?