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null namespace Re: Next steps for the ARIA syntax discussion

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 13:53:29 +0200
To: "Robert J Burns" <rob@robburns.com>
Cc: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>, "public-xhtml2@w3.org" <public-xhtml2@w3.org>, "wai-xtech@w3.org" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.ubh5zfp1wxe0ny@1.116.205.85.in-addr.arpa>

On Fri, 16 May 2008 12:07:43 +0200, Robert J Burns <rob@robburns.com>  
wrote:

> You also mention the null namespace in this email in the context of
> helping authors. The proliferation of the null namespace is — in my
> view — a misinterpretation of the namespaces recommendation that
> already causes some of the same headaches you describe in your
> critique of TAG. In my view the null namespace should not exist in a
> namespaced document processed by a namespace aware application.

It results from a misinterpretation. People naively assumed that what you  
would like to have (attributes inherit the namespace of the element they  
are attached to unless otherwise declared), but that isn't what the spec  
says. The consequence is something near a decade of null namespaces in a  
few widely used specifications.

So like it or not, the null namespace is here to stay. Changing this now  
would cause untold havoc in existing content, and while it would be nice  
if the spec did what it seems most people assume it would, coping with  
what it actually says isn't really very difficult. I do not think it is  
worth trying to change now - because to be honest I don't see it causing  
massive problems. (Yes, people make mistakes from time to time due to this  
- and I made mine very publicly :(, but equally they can still learn in  
about 3 minutes, and it seems that they do).

cheers

Chaals

-- 
Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals   Try Opera 9.5: http://snapshot.opera.com
Received on Wednesday, 21 May 2008 11:54:13 GMT

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