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XML 1.0 Namespaces comment - editorial error; ambiguity?

From: Daniel Barclay <daniel@fgm.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 11:26:01 -0400
Message-ID: <449FFC89.3040303@fgm.com>
To: xml-names-editor@w3.org

In the _Namespaces_in_XML_1.0_(Second_Edition)_ draft at
http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/PER-xml-names-20060614/, section 7 says:

     All other tokens in the document which are REQUIRED, for
     XML 1.0 well-formedness, to match the XML production for
     Name, MUST match this specification's production for NCName.

The last comma should not be there.

(Subjects and verbs are not separated by commas.  Yes, a comma can appear
between the last _word_ of the subject and the first _word_ of the verb,
but only if the comma is _part_ _of_ the subject, for example, ending a
phrase set off by an earlier comma in the subject (for example, the first
sentence of 2.2).)

Section 3 says:

     Element names MUST NOT have the prefix xmlns.

Should that say something like:

     Element prefixed names MUST NOT have the prefix xmlns.

to reduce the risk of misinterpretation?

That wording seems slightly ambiguous, but I can't tell if there is a
net problem.

The term "name" could refer to various syntactic constructs ("QName,"
"PrefixedName," "UnprefixedName," "LocalName") or maybe even to the
full namespace-and-local-part name, and the term "prefix" could refer
to the regular English meaning of prefix or to the "Prefix" construct.

Therefore, it seems that the statement could be taken to mean that none
of those name strings can begin with the substring "xmlns."  That is,
that wording could be taken to mean that "<xmlnsxyz/>",
"<xmlnsxyz:localpart/>", and "<prefix:xmlnsxyz/>" are illegal.  That
does not seem to be the intent of the wording in question.  (Nearby
parts of the specification address whether those cases are illegal or
inadvisble but legal.)

I can't tell if the ambiguity results in a contradiction, or just a
statement that says more than it was meant to but which is still
consistent with other statements.  (However, even in that later case,
the ambiguity likely makes the specification take more effort to

(Also, the prefix "xmlns" should probably be put in boldface as it is
earlier in the paragraph.)

Daniel Barclay
Received on Monday, 26 June 2006 15:26:31 UTC

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