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I believe that XSLT 1.0 was the original culprit, but I could be wrong. Now
XML Schemas, Canonical XML, and other specs rely on the prefixes and scope
of namespace declarations as significant information to be passed to the
application, rather than just a lexical mechanism to resolve element and
attribute names. This has introduced an amazing amount of complexity. In
fact, XML Namespaces are actually getting a worse rap than they deserve,
thanks to this increasingly common and fully-W3C-sanctioned practice.
Is it too late to fix this? W3C specs would have to change. My question is:
who else uses QNames in attribute values? Is there no turning back?
Note that there are precedents for application-level namespace declarations
(e.g. XPointer and XQuery).