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Re: Custom property names: property name namespaces?

From: <ewexler@stickdog.com>
Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 08:21:53 -0700
To: www-style@w3.org
Message-ID: <3CD4EBA1.11995.17F86D6@localhost>
Christian Roth wrote:

> What is the recommended way to name these proprietary properties and
> their values to avoid future name clashes when the standard defines new
> properties and/or value sets?
> In the archives, it was recommended to use "-" as starting character
> since it was not a valid CSS token start character, but there was also a
> reference to CSS3.

The hyphen-minus, "-", may start certain tokens in CSS, but not identifier (IDENT) 
tokens, which are what I assume you meant.

I warn against using an initial hyphen-minus to distinguish proprietary identifiers 
because allowing this corrupts the lexer, a fundamental part of any CSS implementation.

Instead, I urge you and other implementors of proprietary CSS offshoots to choose a 
convenient abbreviation of the project in question and use the abbreviation as a hyphen-
minus-separated prefix for proprietary property names.  For example, a footnote 
positioning property in a Big Red Project should be called 'BRP-footnote-position'.  The 
same approach is useful but not as necessary for value identifiers; presumably the 
naming of the property creates a safe namespace where inadvertent collisions will not 

Those who want extra assurance can attach punctuation and miscellaneous characters, 
escaped as needed, as prefixes or suffixes.  As unlikely as it is that the W3C will name a 
property beginning with 'BRP-', it is still less likely that the W3C will name a property 
beginning with '\^\^\^-'.

To avoid naming clashes with other CSS offshoots, a message to this list, <www-
style@w3.org>, will suffice.  Simply tell us the names of your new properties.  Further 
information would be appreciated as a courtesy, but the names are the crucial part.-- 
Etan Wexler <mailto:ewexler@stickdog.com>
Received on Sunday, 5 May 2002 11:36:09 UTC

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