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Doing More With XML Schemas (part 4)
What's in a namespace? Quite a lot, it seems.

| The Name Game |

Setting up a namespace is simple - here's the syntax:


<elementName xmlns:prefix="namespaceURL">


In this case, the prefix is the unique string used to identify the namespace; this is linked to a specific namespace URL.

A namespace is usually declared at the root element level, although authors are free to declare it at a lower level of the tree structure too.

Once the namespace has been declared within the document, it can be used by prefixing each element within that namespace with the unique namespace identifier. Take a look at my revised stock portfolio, which now uses a "mytrades" namespace to avoid name clashes.


<mytrades:portfolio
xmlns:mytrades="http://www.somedomain.com/namespaces/mytrades/">;

   <mytrades:stock>Cisco Systems</mytrades:stock>
   <mytrades:stock>Nortel Networks</mytrades:stock>
   <mytrades:stock>eToys</mytrades:stock>
   <mytrades:stock>IBM</mytrades:stock>

</mytrades:portfolio>


And once Tom gets over his hangover, I guess he'd find it pretty easy to fix his document too.


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<ts:inventory>
   <ts:item ts:name="Mouse C106">
      <ts:vendor>Logitech</ts:vendor>
      <ts:stock>100</ts:stock>
   </ts:item>

   <ts:item ts:name="Visor Deluxe">
      <ts:vendor>HandSpring</ts:vendor>
      <ts:stock>23</ts:stock>
   </ts:item>

   <ts:item ts:name="Nomad">
      <ts:vendor>Creative</ts:vendor>
      <ts:stock>2</ts:stock>
   </ts:item>
</ts:inventory>


In case you're wondering, the namespace URL is simply a pointer to a Web address, and is meaningless in practical terms; the XML specification doesn't really care where the URL points, or even if it's a valid link.


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