W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > October 2009

Re: ISSUE-41/ACTION-97 decentralized-extensibility

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Sat, 03 Oct 2009 08:28:33 -0400
Message-ID: <4AC74371.9040503@intertwingly.net>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
CC: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>, Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>, Tony Ross <tross@microsoft.com>, Brendan Eich <brendan@mozilla.org>
Jonas Sicking wrote:
> 
> There is no such thing as someone speaking officially for Mozilla on 
> this type of matters. (I made that mistake once and quickly turned out 
> there was people of dissenting opinions). We work as a community and 
> anyone that's part of that community is allowed to have an different 
> opinion.
> 
> What I can say is that I know of several people that think that XML 
> Namespaces are needlessly complex, and none that like them. However 
> that's not to say that that is the opinion of everyone in the mozilla 
> community.

Other than your statement that you don't know anybody (presumably in the 
Mozilla community) that likes namespaces goes a bit too far, and is 
provably untrue depending on how you define community and like -- but 
putting that aside, I certainly agree with the rest of what you say 
above.  Furthermore, given that Microsoft is a rather large company, I 
think it is highly probable that there exist a number of people within 
Microsoft who feel that XML Namespaces are needlessly complex.

My feeling is that there is little in HTML5 that would be designed that 
way today if it weren't for history, and the goal of HTML5 is closer to 
"document what people have and will use, and document it in a way that 
minimizes breakage and maximizes interoperability" than "document 
something everybody likes".

Statements that I feel people can all agree to:

1) People (as in users and customers) have, do, and will continue to use 
"xmlns:" syntax in HTML, and have, do, and will continue to build tools 
that solve their perceived use cases based on this syntax.

2) There are very real limits to how much the implementation of current 
APIs can change without causing unacceptable levels of breakage.

Opinions on #1 range from "if it hurts when you do that, then don't do 
that", to "it doesn't hurt me" to "getting these (quite possibly 
misguided?) people to stop is a fools errand".

Opinions on #2 range from "virtually no change from what is documented 
in HTML5 is possible without breaking the web" to "what we have today is 
a demonstrated lack of interoperability, and this creates an opportunity 
to make modest improvements" to "no changes to existing APIs need to be 
made, people can build what they want/need on top of the current APIs 
and implementations".

I believe that there is room for all of these opinions.  I would prefer 
if at this time we don't focus on those opinions, but instead focused on 
questions like "what should API X return for document Y?" types of 
questions.

> / Jonas

- Sam Ruby
Received on Saturday, 3 October 2009 12:29:24 UTC

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