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Subject: namespace proposal

Esteemed DITA Technical Committee:

The TC asked interested members and observers (Bruce Esrig, Don Day, Eliot Kimber, Erik Hennum, and Michael Priestley) to provide a namespaces proposal.

Here is the proposal:

1. In DITA 1.0, the DTDVersion attribute will be in a namespace (such as http://dita.oasis-open.org/arch#).

The benefit is that a DITA-sensitive application can detect DITA content and determine the architecture version that governs the content by inspecting the topic or map element that contains the content.

As a footnote, the attribute might be renamed to DITAArchVersion or something similar so it isn't specific to DTDs.

2. In DITA 1.0, the OASIS TC will define a namespace for each vocabulary or document type shell and, for each shell, provide both a namespace-free DTD or Schema shell and a namespaced wrapper around that namespace-free shell. The OASIS TC will mandate this design pattern for all shells.

The benefit is that a DITA-insensitive application that requires namespaces can recognize a specific DITA vocabulary based on its namespace. DITA adopters who don't require namespaces don't have to use them.

3. The OASIS TC will note that, in a future version of DITA, each specialization module _may_ be identified by namespace. That implications and implementation of that strategy require more investigation after DITA 1.0

In conclusion, I'd like to thank the participants in these discussions for their determination and insight.

Erik Hennum

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