[XML-SIG] Value of namespaces (was RE: [XML-SIG] IPC7 results)

Wes Rishel wes@rishel.com
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 08:45:08 -0800

I am part of a team that is working on representing the Health Level-7
protocol in XML. This protocol is used by 90% of the hospitals in the US and
in several countries in Europe and the Pacific Rim.

The essence of the protocol is messages (clumps of data) that are
transmitted among various systems in response to a trigger event, such as
"the physician ordered a chest x-ray for the patient".

We derive the clumps of data from an O-O model. The methodology, which
predates our interest in XML, has always assumed a naming scope similar to
one used in most programming languages, where this is not a problem.

	Patient data
		Person data
			date of birth
			id number

	Physician data
		Person data
			id number
			pager number

This has presented a problem because using XML we can have only a single
content model for Person data. Name spaces would have presented a clear and
elegant solution.

Surely we are not alone in this matter?