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Can an application process documents that use XML namespaces and documents that don't use XML namespaces?

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Yes.
This is a common situation for generic applications, such as editors, browsers, and parsers, that are not wired to understand a particular XML language. Such applications simply treat all element type and attribute names as qualified names. Those names that are not mapped to an XML namespace -- that is, unprefixed element type names in the absence of a default XML namespace and unprefixed attribute names -- are simply processed as one-part names, such as by using a null XML namespace name (URI).
Note that such applications must decide how to treat documents that do not conform to the XML namespaces recommendation. For example, what should the application do if an element type name contains a colon (thus implying the existence of a prefix), but there are no XML namespace declarations in the document? The application can choose to treat this as an error, or it can treat the document as one that does not use XML namespaces, ignore the "error", and continue processing.

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