Monday, May 17, 2010

Towards NITF 4.0 - Experimental Support for "Foreign" Namespaces

One of the critiques that has been leveled against NITF for many years is that it cannot be customized by including "other" XML namespaces [1]. In NITF 3.5, we completed the step taken towards opening up the NITF 3.4 schema by fixing a bug in namespace support in enriched text [2].

However, we decided that full support for foreign namespaces was such a big change, that this would constitute one of the major pieces of work for NITF 4.0 [3]. I've created an *experimental* NITF XSD with foreign namespace support. It can be downloaded from

I've performed a number of tests with this schema and it seems to me to be going in the right direction. I've also discovered a problem with the NITF 3.5 namespace support, which I've fixed in this experimental XSD [4]. I promise to write a future note about the choices I made in adding foreign namespace support. However, I wanted to get the current version out there, to give people a chance to download and try it out [5].

[1] See for example, the excellent discussion of schemas and extensibility by Bob DuCharme and how NITF is too closed

[2] Get the NITF schema at

[3] Discussion of the plans for NITF 4.0 (amongst other things) can be reviewed in

[4] A special prize for the first person to figure out what the bug was

[5] Note that the NITF 4.0 experimental schema contains the documentation I copied over from the NITF 3.5 DTD. I'm still keen to get feedback on this too!

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