W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-names-editor@w3.org > September 2014

error in section 2.1 'Basic Concepts' of Namespaces in XML 1.0

From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 18:50:01 -0600
Message-Id: <AC39A69D-8628-4979-90AF-E8D36BD37D24@blackmesatech.com>
Cc: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq@blackmesatech.com>
To: xml-names-editor@w3.org
In section 2.1 of the 'Namespaces in XML' specification, I see that
the term 'namespace name' is defined thus:

    [Definition: For a name N in a namespace identified by a URI I, the 
    namespace name is I. For a nameN that is not in a namespace, the 
    namespace name has no value. ]

These two sentences between them seem to specify that in the
XML document <e/>, the root element is not in any namespace.

This is rather different from the technical intention in the original 
version of this specification, as I remember it being agreed by the
responsible working group, which was that for names like this one,
for which the local name is known and for which no namespace
is known, the Namespaces specification should avoid saying that
they were, or were not, in any namespace.  Such reticence would
help ensure that the association of such names with a particular 
namespace might be established by means not described in the 
'Namespaces in XML' specification.

It may be that very few people in the WG or out of it liked this 
decision, because it was tied to the inability or unwillingness of 
the designers of the specification to say clearly what a namespace 
is.  But I believe that if you consult the decision records of the 
working group that developed the namespaces specification, 
you will find clear evidence that the WG agreed that such names
were not to be described as not being in a namespace.

Now, the introduction of this wording is either an intentional change
to this design point, or it was thought to be a purely editorial

If it was an intentional design change, can you point me to the
decision records which document the discussion of this design 
change?  (And can you explain why such a design change was
made in an erratum, and what interpretation of the W3C process
document was adopted by the WG in holding that an erratum
was the right mechanism for such a design change?)

If it was not an intentional design change, I request that the XML
Core WG issue a correction, defining the term 'namespace name'
in a way that restores the original design.

* C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, Black Mesa Technologies LLC
* http://www.blackmesatech.com 
* http://cmsmcq.com/mib                 
* http://balisage.net
Received on Monday, 22 September 2014 00:50:26 UTC

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