W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > February 2005

RE: Significant W3C Confusion over Namespace Meaning and Policy

From: David Orchard <dorchard@bea.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 13:09:33 -0800
Message-ID: <32D5845A745BFB429CBDBADA57CD41AF0DA9B13F@ussjex01.amer.bea.com>
To: <paul.downey@bt.com>, <dareo@microsoft.com>, <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>, <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>

I think that a namespace owner can specify exactly what they mean a
namespace to mean wrt the names in the space.  The owner has at least 3
options:

1. Say the names in the ns are fixed and immutable
2. Say nothing about the names
3. Say the names in the ns are mutable.  

In option #3, it would seem a good thing for the ns author to say under
what conditions the names can change, from "backwards compatible"
changes, where the meaning of bc is defined by the ns owner to even
"completely incompatible" changes. 

Option #2 carries the risk that 50% of software will assume #1 and 50%
will assume #3, and then they will be faced with a tough choice when
they want to version.  Does the author retrofit option #1 on to v1, and
then lose the benefits of option #3, or does the author retrofit #3 on
to v2, and perhaps breaking software that made assumption of option #1.

Seems to me yet another case of where the language designer needs to do
up front planning and thinking in order to prevent versioning problems,
sometimes called architecture... 

Cheers,
Dave

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of
> paul.downey@bt.com
> Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 6:32 AM
> To: dareo@microsoft.com; patrick.stickler@nokia.com;
Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM
> Cc: www-tag@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Significant W3C Confusion over Namespace Meaning and
Policy
> 
> 
> Dare wrote:
> 
> > Then what does the namespace name identify? XML namespaces
> > seem to grow more and more useless by each passing day.
> 
> A namespace provides a means of ownership, and doesn't, IMO,
> identify  a strict vocabulary frozen at some point in time.
> 
> This demarcation still has some real value, not least to prevent
> clashes of names inserted into a combined document from different
> origins.
> 
> Paul
> 
Received on Wednesday, 16 February 2005 21:10:24 GMT

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