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Naming Rules

So far you have seen examples of the markup used for elements and attributes, and in each a name has been given to the XML markup element. XML has certain specific rules governing what names you can use for all its markup objects. XML's naming rules are as follows:

  • A name consists of at least one letter: a to z, or A to Z.

  • If the name consists of more than one character, it may then start with an underscore (_) or a colon (:).

  • The initial letter (or underscore) can be followed by one or more letters, digits, hyphens, underscores, full stops, and so-called combining characters, extender characters and ignorable characters. (These last three classes of character are taken from the Unicode character set and include some of the special Unicode character symbols and accents. For more information about Unicode, you can look up http://www.unicode.org/.)


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