<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<SOAP-ENV:Envelope xmlns:SOAP-ENV="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/" encodingStyle="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/encoding/">
<inquiry xmlns="urn:revcol" messageTime="Wed Jul 24 13:39:24 EDT 2002">
<customerAddress>123 Street Dallas Texas 12345</customerAddress>
Note that the inquiry start-tag creates a default namespace url:revcol. As a consequence, tools that automatically expand XML namespaces will change the information associated with the categoryCode, accountNum and other elements contained within the inquiry element.
Namespaces (unfortunately) have two main effects. The first is to give a mechanism for disambiguating names. The second is to create an inheritance hierarchy through the use of default namespaces.
So, in a word, 'no'. Best not to remove the namespace as it would result in changing the meaning of the XML document for namespace-aware processors.
This was first published in September 2003