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Re: SAX2 Namespace Support

  • From: David Megginson <david@m...>
  • To: xml-dev <xml-dev@i...>
  • Date: 05 Jan 2000 18:57:42 -0500

Re: SAX2 Namespace Support
Leigh Dodds <ldodds@i...> writes:

> > In principle (the principle of least surprise), it's very bad
> > behaviour for two objects to be == in C++ or equals() in Java if any
> > of their publicly-accessible fields differ.  Think of sets, for
> > example.
> In this instance though your level of surprise is going to relate 
> to how familiar you are with the Namespaces spec.

Expect close to zero, here -- judging by the e-mail I receive, most
people who use SAX haven't even read the XML 1.0 REC much less the
Namespaces REC, and I wouldn't expect them to have done so.  After
all, they're programmers who have to deal with XML as one (often
small) part of their work, not XML specialists.  

I should note that I've never read the Java Language Specification or
the the Unicode spec (either of them) cover-to-cover, though I work
with Java and Unicode almost daily.


> The problem though boils down to how often, in reality, XML instances 
> will have the same Namespace declared twice, with different prefixes.

The fact that the bug would be rare makes it worse -- an application
will run perfectly for, say, 18 months, then will suddenly and
inexplicably blow up long after the original programmers have moved on
because one input document happened to declare the same NS twice and
the programmers didn't build in error recovery for that problem.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@m...

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