RE: Significant W3C Confusion over Namespace Meaning and Policy

> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] 
> On Behalf Of Norman Walsh
> Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 1:35 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Significant W3C Confusion over Namespace Meaning 
> and Policy
> 2. If your application requires validity, nothing breaks. You 
> can't use
>    xml:id attributes unless you put them in your schema and if you put
>    them in your schema, they'll work just like any other attributes.

No, they won't. At least not if you are using MSXML or System.Xml in the
.NET Framework. The same problem exists with xml:base today. In both
libraries, the assumption we made was that the XML namespace would be
unchanging. For this reason, we don't allow users to specify a schema
for the XML namespace but instead always use an internal schema with a
fixed list of attribute declarations {xml:lang, xml:space}. This was
primarily to ensure that the user doesn't do anything wacky like
redefining the values of xml:lang or xml:space. 

Later on the W3C added xml:base to the XML namespace. Any attempt to
validate a document that uses xml:base in current versions of the .NET
Framework and MSXML will fail because the xml:base attribute is unknown
to both schema validators AND we do not honor the user's directives to
load the schema for the XML namespace at
as mentioned in the previous paragraph. 

In fact, I met with members of the XBRL working group on more than one
occassion as part of my previous job function at Microsoft due to the
fact that this very problem blocked usage of XBRL with the .NET
Framework since it depended on xml:base. 

We plan to add xml:base and xml:id to our internal schema for the XML
namespace in future releases as well as allow users to specify their own
schemas for the XML namespace[0]. However the fact is that scenarios are
broken today and part of this is because the W3C has been inconsistent
in providing guidelines on what the expectation should be about the
changing or unchanging nature of names within an XML namespace. 

[0] Caveat: I no longer work on the XML team at Microsoft. Although this
was accurate as at when I left the team last year I can't guarantee that
this is still the status quo. 

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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no

Received on Tuesday, 15 February 2005 21:59:30 UTC