Undeclaring Namespace Prefixes

There's one other new feature that's effectively part of XML 1.1: namespaces 1.1, which adds the ability to undeclare namespace prefix mappings. For example, consider the following API element.

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"> <API xmlns:public="http://www.example.com"       xmlns:private="http://www.example.org" >   <title>Geometry</title>   <cpp xmlns:public="" xmlns:private="">     class CRectangle {       int x, y;       public:void set_values (int,int);       private:int area (void); }   </cpp> </API> 

A system that was looking for qualified names in element content might accidentally confuse the public:void and private:int in the cpp element with qualified names instead of just part of C++ syntax (albeit ugly C++ syntax that no good programmer would write). Undeclaring the public and private prefixes allows them to stand out for what they actually are, just plain unadorned text.

In practice, however, very little code looks for qualified names in element content. Some code does look for these things in attribute values, but in those cases it's normally clear whether or not a given attribute can contain qualified names. Indeed this example is so forced precisely because prefix undeclaration is very rarely needed in practice and never needed if you're only using prefixes on element and attribute names.

That's it. There is nothing else new in XML 1.1. It doesn't move namespaces or schemas into the core . It doesn't correct admitted mistakes in the design of XML such as attribute value normalization. It doesn't simplify XML by removing rarely used features like unparsed entities and notations. It doesn't even clear up the confusion about what parsers should and should not report. All it does is change the list of name and white space characters . This very limited benefit comes at an extremely high cost. There is a huge installed base of XML 1.0aware parsers, browsers, databases, viewers , editors, and other tools that don't work with XML 1.1. They will report well- formedness errors when presented with an XML 1.1 document.

The disadvantages of XML 1.1 (including the cost in both time and money of upgrading all your software to support it) are just too great for the extremely limited benefits it provides most developers. If you're more comfortable working in Mongolian, Yi, Cambodian, Amharic, Dhivehi, or Burmese and you only need to exchange data with other speakers of one of these languages (for instance, you're developing a system exclusively for a local Amharic-language newspaper in Addis Ababa where everybody speaks Amharic), you can set the version attribute of the XML declaration to 1.1. Everyone else should stick to XML 1.0.



Effective XML. 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your XML
Effective XML: 50 Specific Ways to Improve Your XML
ISBN: 0321150406
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 144

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