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   Re: [xml-dev] Re: URIs, concrete (was Re: [xml-dev] Un-ask the question)

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W. E. Perry wrote:

> But what does it mean, really, for an attribute to be 'in a namespace',
> separate from that attribute appearing (or being declared in an ATTLIST as)
> within the scope of a particular element? Are there qualities which we are
> to imagine that an attribute draws, or inherits, from a namespace which
> influence its meaning or its usage in any way comparable to what that
> attribute draws from its dependence upon the particular element which it
> modifies? And if not, is Simon's suggestion not an appropriate
> acknowledgment of the power exerted upon an attribute by the element upon
> which it must depend?

The namespace rec describes a formalism which includes an abstraction 
called a "namespace" and a condition called "being in a namespace".  It 
provides syntactic rules for determining when an element type or 
attribute name is in a namespace.  Within that formalism, it is clear 
that unprefixed attributes cannot be in any namespace.  It is the 
formalism on which the many highly-interoperable namespaces 
implementations are based on.

And yes, it is obvious that an attribute can draw the bulk of its 
semantic import from the namespace it's in, rather than the context of 
the containing element.  Consider

<anyOldElementAtAllIDontCareWhich xml:lang="fr">Bonjour!  ...

There's a technical term for Simon's argument in this case: "wrong".

Unless of course you're talking about some general philosophical notion 
of namespaces, outside of the formalism in the spec, in which case I 
freely grant your point, and Simon's -Tim


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