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

From: Shelley Powers <shelley.just@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 07:39:10 -0500
Message-ID: <643cc0270910210539p5bec537br34904af06c9ecf7e@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Cc: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, Tony Ross <tross@microsoft.com>, Adrian Bateman <adrianba@microsoft.com>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 4:31 AM, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com> wrote:
>
> 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
>
>

Any tool that depends on a certain prefix being used when it comes to
namespaced prefixes in XML is a bad tool. I don't believe it is in the
best interest of the HTML WG to encourage bad tools.

Because something is seemingly a de facto standard doesn't imply that
one could drop one aspect of the namespace/prefix pair, the namespace,
and merrily go on our way just using the prefix.

 One could say we can drop the Canvas element from HTML5, because the
de facto usage is consistent enough that it doesn't need to be
regulated by a standard specification. One could probably say this
about a lot of the web, but I would rather depend on rules, then luck.
And I'd rather depend on a real standard, not a de facto one.

Shelley
Received on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 12:39:38 GMT

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