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Re: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-120 rdfa-prefixes

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 17:43:12 +0100
Message-ID: <4D9F3B20.1060005@nag.co.uk>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
On 08/04/2011 17:14, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> ... If someone believe that
> *prefixes*  are the mechanism by which you disambiguate mixed languages
> (rather than one possible solution to the problem of "using URIs to
> disambiguate mixed languages makes hand-authoring hard"), you'll draw
> incorrect conclusions.

 > ....  Machines don't have the
> problem that prefixes attempt to solve, so we shouldn't worry about
> them as a class of producers - prefixes, if they are kept, must solely
> be optimized for human hand-authoring, as that was their original (and
> currently unchanged) purpose.
>

The claim that prefixes (in XML Names) were introduced to simplify hand 
authoring isn't really compatible with the "1. Motivation and Summary"
in the original namespace spec

http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-xml-names-19990114/#sec-intro

which gives as the only reason:

URI references can contain characters not allowed in names, so cannot be 
used directly as namespace prefixes. Therefore, the namespace prefix 
serves as a proxy for a URI reference.


In other words prefixes were introduced as a way to use URI-qualified 
names without changing the (assumed fixed, given from XML/SGML) XML name 
syntax. As such it applies equally to machine or hand produced content.

The syntax rules for HTML (might be) a bit more flexible so perhaps 
there would be more flexibility in an html context (but perhaps not, 
real life constrains html design perhaps more than SGML heritage 
constrains XML design, as you know). So while it may be true that the 
original motivation for prefixes doesn't apply to html, that wouldn't be 
related to machine generated content.


David

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Received on Friday, 8 April 2011 16:50:30 GMT

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