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From "Jim Fuller" <>
Subject RE: a comment about xml namespace
Date Mon, 22 Dec 2003 14:35:20 GMT
Hello Peter,

OK thx for that and apologies if I am coming late to the conversation on
this. I think your email is clear; perhaps it's understandably
Ant-centric with respect to how to namespaces are processed during an
Ant build.

I like the idea that Ant may understand what to do with other external
namespaces like such as proposed with the html: example. And generally
agree with how it is proposed how Ant deals with namespaces it 'knows'

The main point of my example is that instead of continually expanding
the Ant schema to accommodate other meta data that is non-build
specific, to allow non-ant specific namespaced elements/attributes (meta
data) to be allowed inside an ant build document.
Perhaps these namespaces can bind to another java class ( as with
binding java functions in XSLT ) which ultimately determine how they are
processed within an Ant context...perhaps not.... though I can see this
being useful in consistently bringing in external scripting languages to
Ant ( though this is not critical to my argument ). 

A few use cases;

Eventually perhaps there will be a standard method of annotating xml
documents, I use the RDF/Dublin core initiative but perhaps someone
would want to use an XHTML custom module embedded in Ant <description/>
There is a real need for versioning Ant xml files

Perhaps Ant will be required during the course of a build sensitive
pieces of information, why not intermix XML Encryption / Signature which
could be expanded when/if securely during the build process ? This could
range to simple username/passwords to embedding public/private keys
etc.... .

I would simply propose that all namespaces that Ant has no information
on how to handle are by default ignored, with possibly an ant property
and associated command line switch to control how to handle processing
of external namespaces, though I would settle initially for just
ignoring non-ant namespaces. 

XML namespaces should also be able to be applied to xml property
files...though that's another conversation.

It's in this way that we can provide a 'dense' xml document packed with
all the information for a build, at the same time leveraging external
xml vocabularies instead of cooking their own variant every time the
need pops up. At some point we shall see the boundaries between
file-based documents blurring with the usage of storing such XML in XML
DB repositories. XML namespaces will become the true boundary between
xml vocabularies instead of a physical boundary imposed by our current
usage of files and directories. Perhaps this is something to think about
for Ant 2.0.

Cheers, jim

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Reilly [] 
Sent: 22 December 2003 13:53
To: Ant Developers List
Subject: Re: a comment about xml namespace

This is what I (think I) originally proposed, but did
not articulate it correctly.

Jim Fuller wrote:

>Consider the following;
><?xml version="1.0"?>
><project name="Demonstrate namespace options" default="demo">
>	<RDF:RDF xmlns:RDF=""
>	<RDF:Description
>		DC:Title="namespace build" 	
>		DC:Creator="Jim Fuller"
>		DC:Subject="xml namespaces" 
>		DC:Description="Contains Ant artifacts for building" 
>		DC:Publisher="Webcomposite s.r.o." 
>		DC:Format="text/html" 
>		DC:Type="Technical Report" 
>		DC:Language="en" 
>		DC:Date="12/22/2003"/>
>	</RDF:RDF>
>	<description>intermixing of namespaces</description>
>	<target name="demo" description="build entry point">
>		<echo message="successful build"/>
>	</target>
>XML Namespaces was initially created to avoid collision within
>that have multiple xml vocabularies. 
>Ant seems to assume by default that all namespaces have something to do
>with build their any convention planned for having Ant
>ignore specific namespace elements...or more usefully all namespaces
>that have no Ant processing associated with it ?
>For instance, the above example maybe generated by a sophisticated XML
>editor that uses Dublin Core and RDF as a method of tracking versions
>the build.xml file. This is a simple use case, there are other more
>important use cases involving xml db repositories.
>Regards, Jim Fuller
>----Jim Fuller Technical Architect  WebComposite s.r.o.
>Co-Author ISBN 1861007213 Professional PHP4 XML
>Co-Author ISBN 1861008074 Professional PHP Web Services
>Technical Reviewer 'Beginning XSLT', 'Beginning Databases',
>'XML Antipatterns' and various other xml / web service books
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