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Re: What's the problem? "Reuse of 1998 XHTML namespace is potentially misleading/wrong"

From: Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2009 16:08:46 -0600
Cc: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt@lachy.id.au>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <60D12DA3-B8EA-46FC-9ABC-DE64C1942050@robburns.com>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>

Hi Jonas,

On Feb 11, 2009, at 3:15 PM, Jonas Sicking wrote:

>
> On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM, Larry Masinter  
> <masinter@adobe.com> wrote:
>>> Basically, the only solution to this issue that should be  
>>> considered is
>>> that we continue using the namespace and the XHTML2 WG use a  
>>> different
>>> namespace.
>>
>> It is not a useful style of argument to assert that the only
>> solution that should be *considered* is the one you favor.
>> Certainly there are other solutions that should be considered,
>> such as using the same namespace and resolving any compatibility
>> issues that might otherwise arise.
>>
>>
>>> Otherwise, I will propose closing the issue.
>>
>>> Absolutely, keeping this issue open is unnecessary.  The issue is
>>> entirely political, with no technical justification for us to keep  
>>> it
>>> open.  It should be closed immediately.  At most, a separate issue
>>> should be raised with the XHTML2 WG to make them use an alternative
>>> namespace.
>>
>> That isn't what I propose, actually; what I propose is continuing
>> to use the same namespace, but resolving any vocabulary  
>> incompatibilities,
>> (not language or processing rule incompatibilities, note) either
>> by changing XHTML5 or XHTML2 to remove the vocabulary  
>> incompatibility,
>> or renaming the element or attribute name in one or the other to
>> remove the vocabulary incompatibility.
>
> I agree that all solutions should be considered. Including trying to
> develop compatible vocabularies. I also propose that the solutions be
> evaluated based on technical merits.
>
> One thing that I would like to understand though is why the XHTML2
> working group is trying to reuse the same vocabulary as
> XHTML1.1/XHTML5 while at the same time developing a language that is
> significantly different? I.e. what is the technical downside of using
> a separate vocabulary as I think the earlier drafts of XHTML2 did?

As I said in my earlier message, the XHTML2 WG is being much more  
careful about name collisions than this WG. I think the solution there  
is for both WG's to be careful about name collisions, to avoid  
introducing identical names for new vocabulary and to coordinate the  
assignment of new names between the WGs.

One reason the XHTML namespace is important to both WGs is that it  
serves as the identifying mechanism used by UAs for the vocabulary  
(along with mime type and doctype declarations). In a compound  
document environment (and this could potentially apply to any DocType  
and any mime type including text/html), the namespace URI is the chief  
way to identify the vocabulary. Likewise for namespace DOM operations.  
If either XHTML introduces a new namespaceURI then there will be some  
lag (how much we do not know) before UAs recognize the new URI as  
largely a synonym for the old URI (or a synonym to start with and  
expected differentiation in the future). Neither HTML5 nor XHTML2  
wants nor should need to deal with that lag.

Take care,
Rob
Received on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 22:09:25 UTC

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