Re: Last call comments on XML Binding Language (XBL) 2.0

On Feb 21, 2007, at 20:56, Ian Hickson wrote:
> Why would this single feature be worthy of discoverability when the  
> entire
> rest of the XBL processing model requires the UA to have built-in
> knowledge? I understand that xml:id would be very appropropriate  
> and an
> important feature of proprietary languages, but I don't understand  
> why it
> would have any benefits in the context of a language that is only  
> useful
> in conjunction with UA-native support and that is intended to be  
> used as
> a well-known standard language on the Web.

Put it this way: if XBL is supposedly only useful in the context of a  
UA that already knows everything there is to know about it, why  
bother even using XML? It brings in all manners of other constraints  
that one could happily do without. It brings in a lot more verbosity  
than id vs xml:id  how many of those elements could skip their end  
tag given that the grammar is known? I'm seeing a whole lot of them.  
The verbosity argument simply doesn't hold, not matter which way I've  
seen it argued thus far.

If you don't want to use XML, I'll be the first to say that there are  
many cases in which you could be right. I don't, however, believe  
that this is one of them. So if you're using it, use it in a  
meaningful manner  that is to say, one that maximises data reuse at  
minimal cost. There are cases in which document reusability has not  
been useful, or has come at too high a cost. Xlink springs to mind  
(mostly because it sucks donkey teeth to begin with though). But  
xml:id does not fall into that category. Using it costs nothing, and  
gives the difference between being able to just reuse XBL in all  
manners of CMSs, document management, or publishing systems on the  
Web just like that, or having to teach them all about something new.

Given that the cost of using xml:id is zero, the trade-off is quite  
simple to all those who don't have a religion that prevents them from  
adopting things that the CSS WG has been accused of not doing. Its  
adoption is obvious to the technological atheists.

> I have marked your request as a potential formal objection.

And one it will be.

Robin Berjon -
RDF is like violence: if it doesn't work, use more!

Received on Wednesday, 21 February 2007 22:38:39 UTC