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   RE: [xml-dev] QNames in attribute values

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> From: Evan Lenz [mailto:elenz@xyzfind.com]


> 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.

I would think that "amazing amount of complexity" is a bit of an
overstatement. I'm also not convinced that this feature is really making
namespaces get a worse rap than they would otherwise. Most of the bad rap
I've seen has been from people who simply don't like namespaces in XML at

> 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?

I think it's too late to turn back on this. Too many people are finding this
too useful, and too many specs have incorporated this in a fundamental
fashion. Most of the uses I've seen are simply for namespace-scoped
enumeration values, and I think that's useful. XSLT's use of namespaces for
extension functions is IMHO a very novel and useful construct, as well. It
strikes me as a very elegant way to provide such a mechanism that plays well
in the XML world.

Why must namespaces be restricted to only scoping element and attribute
names? That seems to me to be unnecessarily restrictive. Other artifacts
need name-scoping mechanisms, as well, and I don't see why we should force
them to find another means of accomplishing this.


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