W3C releases Namespaces in XML 1.1, Requirements
20:19, 3 Apr 2002 UTC | Simon St.Laurent

Two new drafts detailing the future of XML namespaces, Namespaces in XML 1.1 and Namespaces in XML 1.1 Requirements are now available.

Changes to the namespace mechanisms are deliberately minimal:

"It will incorporate several errata to the 1.0 specification, and one substantive change: the provision of a mechanism to 'undeclare' prefixes."

The initial draft of Namespaces in XML 1.1 includes highlighted change indicators.

The Introduction to the Requirements draft describes why the undeclare facility is needed:

"Namespaces in XML 1.0 has the ability to undeclare the default namespace, but doesn't provide a facility to undeclare namespaces with prefixes. An obvious syntax for such functionality would be an empty namespace attribute value (xmlns:prefix=""). This omission has had adverse consequences on infoset manipulations and serializers."

XInclude, XML Digital Signatures, XML Encryption, SOAP, XPath, and XQuery are identified as specifications suffering from this problem.

The initial reaction from xml-dev was less than warm, with several respondents raising questions about versioning, especially in light of ongoing development of XML 1.1.

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Re: W3C releases Namespaces in XML 1.1, Requirements (Tom Bradford - 17:21, 11 Apr 2002)

Here's a thought. Why not just deprecate default namespaces altogether? They create more problems than they actually solve, and are an incredible source of confusion for users of XML, even those who 'sorta' understand what namespaces are used for. The textual representation of XML is verbose by design, and so it isn't much to ask that all namespaced elements/attributes be prefix qualified.

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