Set - 2

Question 1 :

Do I need to use XML namespaces? 

Answer :

Maybe, maybe not. 
If you don't have any naming conflicts in the XML documents you are using today, as is often the case with documents used inside a single organization, then you probably don't need to use XML namespaces. However, if you do have conflicts today, or if you expect conflicts in the future due to distributing your documents outside your organization or bringing outside documents into your organization, then you should probably use XML namespaces. 
Regardless of whether you use XML namespaces in your own documents, it is likely that you will use them in conjunction with some other XML technology, such as XSL, XHTML, or XML Schemas. For example, the following XSLT (XSL Transformations) stylesheet uses XML namespaces to distinguish between element types defined in XSLT and those defined elsewhere:

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
<xsl:template match="Address">
<!-- The Addresses element type is not part of the XSLT namespace. -->
<Addresses>
<xsl:apply-templates/>
</Addresses>
</xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>


Question 2 :

What is the relationship between XML namespaces and the XML 1.0 recommendation?

Answer :

Although the XML 1.0 recommendation anticipated the need for XML namespaces by noting that element type and attribute names should not include colons, it did not actually support XML namespaces. Thus, XML namespaces are layered on top of XML 1.0. In particular, any XML document that uses XML namespaces is a legal XML 1.0 document and can be interpreted as such in the absence of XML namespaces. For example, consider the following document:

<google:A xmlns:google="http://www.google.org/">
<google:B google:C="bar"/>
</google:A>

If this document is processed by a namespace-unaware processor, that processor will see two elements whose names are google:A and google:B. The google:A element has an attribute named xmlns:google and the google:B element has an attribute named google:C. On the other hand, a namespace-aware processor will see two elements with universal names {http://www.google.org}A and {http://www.google.org}B. The {http://www.google.org}A does not have any attributes; instead, it has a namespace declaration that maps the google prefix to the URI http://www.google.org. The {http://www.google.org}B element has an attribute named {http://www.google.org}C.
Needless to say, this has led to a certain amount of confusion. One area of confusion is the relationship between XML namespaces and validating XML documents against DTDs. This occurs because the XML namespaces recommendation did not describe how to use XML namespaces with DTDs. Fortunately, a similar situation does not occur with XML schema languages, as all of these support XML namespaces. 
The other main area of confusion is in recommendations and specifications such as DOM and SAX whose first version predates the XML namespaces recommendation. Although these have since been updated to include XML namespace support, the solutions have not always been pretty due to backwards compatibility requirements. All recommendations in the XML family now support XML namespaces.


Question 3 :

How do I declare an XML namespace in an XML document? 

Answer :

To declare an XML namespace, you use an attribute whose name has the form:
xmlns:prefix
--OR--
xmlns
These attributes are often called xmlns attributes and their value is the name of the XML namespace being declared; this is a URI. The first form of the attribute (xmlns:prefix) declares a prefix to be associated with the XML namespace. The second form (xmlns) declares that the specified namespace is the default XML namespace. 
For example, the following declares two XML namespaces, named http://www.google.com/ito/addresses and http://www.google.com/ito/servers. The first declaration associates the addr prefix with the http://www.google.com/ito/addresses namespace and the second declaration states that the http://www.google.com/ito/servers namespace is the default XML namespace.
<Department xmlns:addr="http://www.google.com/ito/addresses" xmlns="http://www.google.com/ito/servers">
NOTE: Technically, xmlns attributes are not attributes at all -- they are XML namespace declarations that just happen to look like attributes. Unfortunately, they are not treated consistently by the various XML recommendations, which means that you must be careful when writing an XML application. 
For example, in the XML Information Set (http://www.w3.org/TR/xml-infoset), xmlns "attributes" do not appear as attribute information items. Instead, they appear as namespace declaration information items. On the other hand, both DOM level 2 and SAX 2.0 treat namespace attributes somewhat ambiguously. In SAX 2.0, an application can instruct the parser to return xmlns "attributes" along with other attributes, or omit them from the list of attributes. Similarly, while DOM level 2 sets namespace information based on xmlns "attributes", it also forces applications to manually add namespace declarations using the same mechanism the application would use to set any other attributes.


Question 4 :

Can I use an attribute default in a DTD to declare an XML namespace?

Answer :

Yes. 
For example, the following uses the FIXED attribute xmlns:google on the A element type to associate the google prefix with the http://www.google.org/ namespace. The effect of this is that both A and B are in the http://www.google.org/ namespace.

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<!DOCTYPE google:A [
<!ELEMENT google:A (google:B)>
<!ATTLIST google:A xmlns:google CDATA #FIXED "http://www.google.org/">
<!ELEMENT google:B (#PCDATA)>]>
<!-- google prefix declared through default attribute. -->
<google:A>
<google:B>abc</google:B>
</google:A>

IMPORTANT: You should be very careful about placing XML namespace declarations in external entities (external DTDs), as non-validating parsers are not required to read these. For example, suppose the preceding DTD was placed in an external entity (google.dtd) and that the document was processed by a non-validating parser that did not read google.dtd. This would result in a namespace error because the google prefix was never declared:

<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<!-- google.dtd might not be read by non-validating parsers. -->
<!DOCTYPE google:A SYSTEM "google.dtd">
<!-- google prefix not declared unless google.dtd is read. -->
<google:A>
<google:B>abc</google:B>
</google:A>


Question 5 :

Do the default values of xmlns attributes declared in the DTD apply to the DTD? 

Answer :

No. 
Declaring a default value of an xmlns attribute in the DTD does not declare an XML namespace for the DTD. (In fact, no XML namespace declarations apply to DTDs.) Instead, these defaults (declarations) take effect only when the attribute is instantiated on an element. For example: 
<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<!DOCTYPE google:A [
<!ELEMENT google:A (google:B)>
<!ATTLIST google:A xmlns:google CDATA #FIXED "http://www.google.org/">
<!ELEMENT google:B (#PCDATA)> ]>
<google:A> <========== Namespace declaration takes effect here.
<google:B>abc</google:B>
</google:A> <========= Namespace declaration ends here.
For more information, see question 7.2. (Note that an earlier version of MSXML (the parser used by Internet Explorer) did use fixed xmlns attribute declarations as XML namespace declarations, but that this was removed in MSXML 4.