The World Wide Web Consortium Issues "Namespaces in XML" as a W3C Recommendation

Dear friend of W3C,

Happy New Year!

this is to keep you in touch with the latest developments at the World Wide
Web Consortium. Admittedly, this list has been empty for a long time - too
long to be really useful. Now that the resource situation is improving, it
is again possible to establish regular feeds to the list, with the goal to
give you a regular weekly update by the end of February, if not earlier. I
appreciate your feedback, both on this release in particular and on the
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Best regards,

Josef Dietl

       The World Wide Web Consortium Issues "Namespaces in XML" as a W3C

          Josef Dietl, <[1]>, +33

   America --
          Ian Jacobs, <[2]>, +1.212.684.1814

   Europe --
          Ned Mitchell, <[3]>, +33 1 43 22 79 56
          Andrew Lloyd, <[4]>, +44 127 367 5100

   [5] -- 14 January 1999 -- Leading the Web to its
   full potential, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today released the
   "[6]Namespaces in XML" specification as a W3C Recommendation. Teaming
   up with W3C's Extensible Markup Language ([7]XML) Recommendation, this
   new specification allows authors to mix two or more XML-based
   languages in one document without conflict or ambiguity, thus
   promoting the modular development and reuse of XML languages and
   applications. A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is
   stable, contributes to Web interoperability and has been reviewed by
   W3C Membership who are in favor of its adoption by the industry.

   The "Namespaces in XML" specification resolves potential name clashes
   by using the Web addressing infrastructure. Each element name in a
   document may be prefixed with a unique address, thus precisely
   qualifying the name. The modularity and simplicity of XML technology
   combined with namespaces paves the way for future developments, such
   as the work in progress in W3C's XML Schema Working Group, and data
   exchange based on W3C's Resource Description Framework (RDF)

   The "Namespaces in XML" specification was created and developed by the
   W3C XML Working Group, which includes key industry players such as
   Adobe, ArborText, DataChannel, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Inso, Isogen,
   Microsoft, NCSA, Netscape, Oracle, SoftQuad, Sun Microsystems, Texcel,
   Vignette, and Fuji Xerox; as well as experts in structured documents
   and electronic publishing.

   The design of "Namespaces in XML" is the direct result of W3C's
   experience with evolving Web technologies. Namespaces allow the Web to
   scale in a way that promotes interoperability. "We've seen what it
   takes for technology to move forward in practice. This Recommendation
   is engineering to make the Web capable of evolving - not just good,
   but capable of becoming ever better," says Tim Berners-Lee, W3C
   Director. "As the Web gets bigger, new technology must be able to move
   slowly from invention in a small community to global adoption. And
   that must be possible without anyone having to recode existing
   applications to meet the new standard."

Mixing Namespaces

   Every XML document contains elements just as every HTML document
   contains elements (such as the familiar "P", "TABLE", etc.). XML,
   unlike HTML, allows people to create their own elements to meet their
   particular needs. A collection of elements is called a "namespace" and
   this W3C Recommendation describes how to mix two or more of these
   namespaces. The specification ensures that when two namespaces both
   contain an element with the same name, applications can distinguish
   the names by a prefix (just as two telephone numbers may be the same
   in two cities, distinguished by an area code). It is possible, for
   example, to mix HTML and MathML, to put structured math content in the
   middle of a Web page.

   Namespaces are already used in W3C's current Working Draft on
   [8]Reformulating HTML in XML.

Partial Understanding

   Namespaces also mean that applications processing a document will work
   even if they don't understand all of the namespaces in that document.
   "Think of an invoice," suggests Dan Connolly, W3C XML Activity Lead.
   "Most of an invoice like the addresses and quantities and amounts are
   in regular commercial language. But maybe the descriptions of exactly
   what parts have been ordered would only be understood by experts
   manufacturing or using the parts. Still, many people can understand
   the invoice without having to understand what the part description
   means. XML namespaces allows a digitally coded document like this
   invoice to be processed -- without everyone who uses invoices having
   to agree on a vocabulary for turbojet engine side intake manifold
   monitor valve mounting nuts, or whatever."

   Further information about upcoming developments of XML are available
   at [9]

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

   The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by
   developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its
   interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly
   run by the [10]MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the
   USA, the [11]National Institute for Research in Computer Science and
   Control (INRIA) in France and [12]Keio University in Japan. Services
   provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about
   the World Wide Web for developers and users, reference code
   implementations to embody and promote standards, and various prototype
   and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date,
   over 300 organizations are [13]Members of the Consortium.

   For more information about the World Wide Web Consortium, see



Received on Thursday, 14 January 1999 13:18:57 UTC