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Subject: Re: [office] Namespace 'of' for formula expressions

Title: Re: [office] Namespace 'of' for formula expressions

While written material is a bit sparse, IMO there is some ambiguity around that issue.  Norm Walsh and others have worked on an XML test suite which tests both basic XML and XML NS support as part of “XML conformance”.


A conformant XML parser and DOM builder should also be able to correctly discern between a colon used as part of an XML nToken vs. a namespaced qualified element name.  If you look at JDOM, it has code that can disambiguate.

A namespace should not be inferred unless the character array prior to the colon in an XML document is identical to a namespace prefix declared in the document.  The namespace attribute value itself has no meaning other than it must be unique, which is why URI’s are often used.


On 14/04/08 4:15 PM, "David A. Wheeler" <dwheeler@dwheeler.com> wrote:

"Warren Turkal" <turkal@google.com>
> I see no harm in allowing different qualified names for a given
> namespace name. It's XML after all. If your tool so simple that it
> doesn't understand XML namespaces, then your tool shouldn't be marked
> compliant with an XML-based standard.

As far as I can tell, tools are free to comply with the XML spec without implementing XML namespaces.

In fact, the original XML 1.0 spec didn't have namespaces at all, so obviously you can comply with XML 1.0 and not have namespaces.  I just did a check and as far as I can tell, namespace support is not required for XML 1.1 either.  See:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xml11/
Section 2.3 only has this: "The Namespaces in XML Recommendation [XML Names] assigns a meaning to names containing colon characters. Therefore, authors should not use the colon in XML names except for namespace purposes, but XML processors must accept the colon as a name character."  I interpret this as a "please don't use it in a completely different way" but I don't see anything here as a requirement to implement XML namespaces.

It's the "Namespaces in XML 1.0 (Second Edition)" defines XML namespaces:
> [1]http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-names11/
it's required-by-reference by some other specs, but not XML itself (as far as I can tell).

Second problem: Namespace processing, of the kind you're thinking of, is usually done by the external XML processor as a prefix to the names of XML attributes.  But that is NOT what we have here.  Instead, the namespace prefix (if used) is INSIDE THE ATTRIBUTE CONTENT ITSELF.  Like this:
table:style-name="ce1" table:formula="of:=AVERAGE([.B6:.B106])" office:value-type="percentage" office:value="0.916190476190476">

We're trying to reuse namespace selectors, because they add flexibility.  But hooking it to the attribute name is not what we need.  It's not clear to me that XML libraries even let you query "what is the active set of namespace abbreviations at this point?", so it's not clear that you can even reasonably implement what you have in mind.

This is not a new approach; this is CURRENTLY done with OpenOffice.org (they use oooc: instead of "of:").

We can revisit this, of course, but we've started with existing practice for obvious reasons.

--- David A. Wheeler

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