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Re: Registered namespace prefixes

Re:  Registered namespace prefixes
At 10:44 PM -0500 3/7/03, Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:

>Is it
>  a) To mix and match elements from arbitrary markup vocabularies
>  b) To mix and match elements from arbitrary markup vocabularies with
>       no prior agreement.
>  c) To mix and match elements from arbitrary markup vocabularies with
>       no prior agreement, and to then *process* them.

The answer is d, none of the above. The real purpose of namespaces in 
practice is to easily and quickly identify  which vocabulary a given 
element comes from. That is, when I receive a DOM or SAX notification 
that I've got a set element, I want to know whether it's an SVG set 
element or an RDF set element or a MathML set element. Indeed, even 
when there's no confusion on name alone (e.g. svg or html) I may 
still want to be able to dispatch the element to the right handler 
without a lot of effort. namespaces enable this.

In other words, it's useful for elements to have identifiers for 
their class as well as their own nature, a genera as well as a 
species. Very few people talk about this, but it is far and away the 
most important use of namespaces.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo@m... | Writer/Programmer |
|           Processing XML with Java (Addison-Wesley, 2002)          |
|              http://www.cafeconleche.org/books/xmljava             |
| http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0201771861/cafeaulaitA  |
|  Read Cafe au Lait for Java News:  http://www.cafeaulait.org/      |
|  Read Cafe con Leche for XML News: http://www.cafeconleche.org/    |


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