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[Bug 7670] Use of prefixes is too complicated for a Web technology

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 23:18:06 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-Id: <E1Mqb66-0003aR-VN@wiggum.w3.org>

--- Comment #37 from Gavin Carothers <gavin@carothers.name>  2009-09-23 23:18:06 ---
(In reply to comment #35)
> (In reply to comment #34)
> > (In reply to comment #32)
... snip ...
> > Also, the debate is happening between language designers. It's not happening
> > much between users. Users spend 60 seconds learning prefixes, and then they
> > move on to the next thing. We're spending vastly more time debating this than
> > users are learning it.
> I do think prefix indirection is somewhat confusing. It seems to be a common
> error for both producers and consumers of prefix-using data to make the mistake
> that it's the prefix that is meaningful, rather than the URI it is bound to.

Talking about a prefix as not being meaningful doesn't help. Descriptions of
prefixes that say "Oh they don't mean anything" are wrong and misleading. A
prefix has a very clear meaning in the context of the document or section in
which it is defined. Prefixes may change meaning between documents or sections
(not a great idea as mentioned) but they have a great deal of meaning.

I think a lot of confusion can be reduced by writing better guides on their
usage, and explaining them to authors in a less technical method. Anyone who
can write or read has to deal with words, phrases, prefixes that change meaning
depending on context.

I don't see the goal as being to remove all confusion but to reduce it as much
as possible.

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Received on Wednesday, 23 September 2009 23:18:15 UTC

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