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RE: minor naming point (why full names are important for archiv in g)

From: Ed Simon <ed.simon@entrust.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 11:14:21 -0400
Message-ID: <01E1D01C12D7D211AFC70090273D20B105E763@sothmxs06.entrust.com>
To: "''IETF/W3C XML-DSig WG ' '" <w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org>, chairs@w3.org
Hi Joseph,

You are right in that naming in W3C TRs varies considerably.  However, I
think there has been a slow, inconsistent, general move in the direction of
lowercase, compete words.  I did not mean to imply that there was a specific
style guideline for this though I would certainly support one that did.

I don't consider HTML or even XHTML to be indicators of current naming
styles because HTML dates back several years.  When HTML and a few dozen
tags were the only game in town, sure we could get by with <P> for paragraph
and <LI> for list item.  Now with the great variety of DTDs/schemas made
possible by XML, I'm a big fan of making element and attribute names as
clear and quickly readable as possible.

Regards, Ed
Ed Simon
Software Engineer, Entrust Technologies
email:  ed.simon@entrust.com
ph: (613) 247-2583

> ----------
> From: 	Joseph M. Reagle Jr.[SMTP:reagle@w3.org]
> Sent: 	Friday, September 17, 1999 4:22 PM
> To: 	Ed Simon
> Cc: 	''IETF/W3C XML-DSig WG ' '; chairs@w3.org
> Subject: 	RE: minor naming point (why full names are important for
> archivin g)
> At 20:07 99/09/16 -0400, Ed Simon wrote:
>  >Element and attribute names should be lowercase, complete
>  >English words, where each word is separated by a hyphen.  
>  >(I think this is the preferred W3C way.)  
> Show me where. (In general, I'd like people to reference the things they
> talk about as much as possible.) What I see is:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/html40/struct/global.html
>  single words
>  CAPS for element names
>  lowercase for attribute names
> http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-smil/
>  single words, hyphenated in a few instances
>  lowercase all
> http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-MathML/chap3_1.html
>  single words/acronyms
>  lowercase for all
>  >So for example, 
>  ><sigblock> should really be <signature-block>.
> I tend to like short names, but your comment for spelling things out is
> not
> the first. I've cc'd chairs because at a MIT meeting this week we joked
> that
> we would save _many_ hours of discussion time across all the W3C WGs that
> flip-flop on issues like this. A few people have been pushing for optional
> though standardized style and editorial conventions across all W3C
> specifications, as shown in [1]. I'd add this topic to the list, but
> progress has been slow. I'd love to see some usability research on this
> stuff actually.
> [1] http://www.w3.org/Guide/Reports.html#style
> ____
> From: Ed Simon <ed.simon@entrust.com>
> To: "''IETF/W3C XML-DSig WG ' '" <w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org>
> Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 20:07:38 -0400
> Subject: RE: minor naming point (why full names are important for archivin
> g)
> Status:  O
> Element and attribute names should be lowercase, complete
> English words, where each word is separated by a hyphen.  
> (I think this is the preferred W3C way.)  So for example, 
> <sigblock> should really be <signature-block>.
> The importance of making names as legible as possible was 
> brought home to me by some presentations I saw on those 
> who archive documents.  Included among the great, grand 
> features of XML are that ideally it is both machine-readable 
> and human-readable, and that it minimizes the problem of 
> effectively losing data just because the technology to 
> read that data has become lost.  Unlike me and others 
> who love the "let's change everything every five years" 
> world of high-tech, archivists are all too familiar 
> with the experience of having billions of bits that 
> cannot be comprehended because the technology to read 
> them has been lost.  I heard one fellow representing 
> the US Patents and Trademarks Office say that his 
> documents needed to last the lifetime of the Republic 
> and that as long as English was understood, the Office's 
> electronic patent information archives could be understood
> because it was encoded in XML.
> Digital signatures are invaluable for securing archives; 
> frankly, archiving is one of their most important uses.
> I expect archivists would strongly prefer we use full
> names rather than ones meaningful only to those of us
> involved in standards work.
> Ed
> _________________________________________________________
> Joseph Reagle Jr.   
> Policy Analyst           mailto:reagle@w3.org
> XML-Signature Co-Chair   http://w3.org/People/Reagle/
Received on Monday, 20 September 1999 11:17:47 UTC

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