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

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 02:31:08 -0700
Cc: Tony Ross <tross@microsoft.com>, Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-id: <59B52E5E-3070-4F3B-B43D-0616C8F369CD@apple.com>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>

On Oct 17, 2009, at 11:34 PM, Jonas Sicking wrote:

> On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 4:54 PM, Tony Ross <tross@microsoft.com>  
> wrote:
>>
>> I agree that XML Namespaces is more complex than simply using tag  
>> names for identity, but I'm curious as to what specifically makes  
>> you think it is too complex for the web.
>
> I've mentioned them before in this thread. But in short:
>
> The identifying name is a tuple rather than a string (arguably this
> could be fixed by changing DOM/CSS, but so far such proposals have not
> been made).
> The identifying name is different from what's being written in the
> markup. I.e. the user writes "foo:bar" in the markup, but the
> identifying name is { "somenamespaceURI", "bar" }
> Copy-paste of markup becomes more fragile since it's easy to loose the
> prefix-mapping in the process.

And here's a long post of mine from a few months ago explaining some  
of the difficulties that XML-style namespaces create for content  
authors:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2009Jul/0919.html

It covers these issues and a few others. In particular: to avoid the  
confusion created by prefix-based indirection, popular namespaces  
evolve a de facto standard prefix that almost everyone uses almost all  
the time, and that some tools even rely on for correct processing  
(instead of the namespace URI). Thus, XML-style namespaces as actually  
practiced deliver no more distributed extensibility than an informal  
prefix convention, while at the same time imposing much more complexity.

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 09:31:44 UTC

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