Re: Using HyTime Arcform stuff (was Re: Ephemeral XML?)

Sean Mc Grath <digitome@iol.ie> wrote:
> I wonder if the effort involved in removing namespace pollution is worth
> the effort? I mean, the world is full of structured document formats
> (e.g. programming languages, data files of all descriptions) with polluted
> namespaces.

I suppose it depends on our vision of what XML is supposed
to be.  If we want to sell it as "something like HTML, but
extensible" then there probably isn't a problem with predefined
element types; XML would provide a sort of "starter tag set"
that authors could extend at will.  However, if we want to sell
it as "a simplified form of SGML" -- with the emphasis on
"Generalized" -- I don't think there should be _any_ predefined
element types.

(Predefined architectural forms are OK, and I think even
necessary, but in order to allow authors full freedom of design
they must be able to specify which, if any, predefined
architectures they want to have enabled.)

> I have been bitten by a fair few in my time:-
> A Unix program called "test" which did nothing (Reason:"test" was interpted
> by the shell)
> A C program function called access() that would not link (Reason: reserved
> in the standard C library)

This is a different situation:  the Unix shell and the C language
are programming systems which include _as part of their definition_
a library of predefined, user-accessible operations.  SGML _explicitly
refrains_ from predefining any element types, so if XML is to be a
subset of SGML it shouldn't predefine anything either.

However, after re-reading the "Design Principles" document
DD-1996-0001, I can't tell for sure what XML is supposed to
be -- a simplified SGML (which has been my assumption), or
an extensible HTML-like language for Web delivery.  If it
is to be the latter, then the namespace issue is probably
far less important than what I've made it out to be.

--Joe English