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Subject: Attribute change in 1.1

As some of you may remember, back in June we voted to remove the confusing
xmlns attribute from DITA elements in 1.1. The attribute was considered by
all to be a bug - it had a fixed, default value of the empty string. It was
only in the DTDs, and did not appear in the schema. There was no reason to
have it in DITA documents or in the DTD. Here is a bit of history:

Paul Grosso's note questioning why it is present:
TC minutes with approval to remove it:

We recently noticed that, even though this is a bug, it is technically
backwards-incompatible. The only ways that this would cause problems is:
1. If a user normalizes files, but retains the DTD statement. The default
value of xmlns="" is added during normalization, but the attribute is not
valid with 1.1.
2. If a tool happens to place default attributes into the file. This could
easily cause other problems for DITA documents, because all class
attributes would also be in the file, and thus easy for authors to break.

Given that the xmlns attribute was considered a bug, it would seem to be a
mistake to put it back in. So, if there are no objections, I'll ask Michael
to put a notification of some sort about this in the 1.1 specifications.


Robert D Anderson
IBM Authoring Tools Development
Chief Architect, DITA Open Toolkit
(507) 253-8787, T/L 553-8787

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