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

From: Joseph M. Reagle Jr. <reagle@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 16:43:46 -0400
Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19991022164346.00ab5d90@localhost>
To: Ed Simon <ed.simon@entrust.com>
Cc: "''IETF/W3C XML-DSig WG ' '" <w3c-ietf-xmldsig@w3.org>, chairs@w3.org
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 Friday, 22 October 1999 16:44:06 GMT

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