Automatic XML Namespaces
Liam R. E. Quin
XML Activity Lead
XML, originally called Web SGML, was designed as a subset of SGML suitable for use on the World Wide Web. Shortly after the publication of XML, the Names in XML specification, better known as Namespaces, was published. One of its primary purposes was to facilitate the exchange of RDF metadata in XML. XML Namespaces are somewhat clumsy and unwieldy, under-specified, and incomplete. They have gained considerable adoption within XML vocabularies, often with reluctance, but have met with resistance from the Web community.
This paper explores some of the difficulties (whether real or perceived) with Namespaces, suggests ways to address some of those difficulties, and also suggests ways to attempt some reconciliation with the Web developer community.