W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-names-issues@w3.org > July to September 1998

PI target names unscoped -- why?

From: David Brownell <db@argon.Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 00:49:59 -0700
Message-Id: <199808160749.AAA04048@argon.eng.sun.com>
To: xml-names-issues@w3.org
The "motivation" (why not clearly defined "goals"?) in the XML
namespace draft defines combining "markup from multiple independent
sources" as needing namespace collision avoidance mechanisms.  The
XML specification defines markup (2.4, first para) as including
entity references, DTDs, and PIs ... but the XML namespace draft
neither addresses such markup, nor justifies why that markup should
be unprotected.

    --> The "motivation" needs to explain why only such a small
	subset of XML markup is being covered.

If (as has been hinted) there is a goal to move away from DTD
based validation [1], that partly explains why markup related
to DTDs is not being covered.  (Only partly, since this draft
does not work well with DTD validation and W3C has no ongoing
alternative non-DTD mechanism going in tandem with this.)

However, even such an unstated "anti-DTD" goal does not motivate
the current conformance requirment precluding PI targets from being
scoped, since they are not tied to DTDs.

Technically, the current declaration syntax ("xmlns" and related
attribute values to declare namespaces) can clearly be applied
to PI target names found within an element with namespace prefixes
active in the dynamic scope.

Admittedly, PI targets before or after a document's root element
could not be scoped without some different declaration syntax,
such as the original PI based syntax.

- Dave

[1] Having developed several large systems, I've learned to distrust
    putting "hooks" in without having the systems using them actually
    in place and working.  Even after looking at the DCD note, I get
    the feeling that namespaces are a rather experimental "hook" for
    something that hasn't been designed yet.
Received on Sunday, 16 August 1998 03:49:41 UTC

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