W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xml-id@w3.org > April 2005

Re: FW: W3C XML ID ambiguity

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 16:22:12 -0400
Message-ID: <42695CF4.2040403@metalab.unc.edu>
To: "Bassetti, Ann" <ann.bassetti@boeing.com>
CC: public-xml-id@w3.org, "Bugbee, Larry" <larry.bugbee@boeing.com>, "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, Liam Quin <liam@w3.org>, Bert Bos <bert@w3.org>, "Reid, Travis S" <travis.s.reid@boeing.com>, "Gerstmann, Jerry P" <jerry.p.gerstmann@boeing.com>, "Meadows, Joe" <joe.meadows@nobs.ca.boeing.com>

Henry Thompson writes, "Speaking for myself, the parallelism with the 
existing xml: attributes
is compelling -- using xmlid will simply confuse people because they
will look for some deep significance in the shift from xml:" but I think 
this is backwards.

xml:id is in fact not parallel to xml:space and xml:lang. It has 
different inheritance behavior, and therefore should not be treated the 
same. There is significance to the shift from xml:id to xmlid, and no 
one has to look too deeply to find it. xmlid was chosen over xml:id (or 
should be chosen) simply because it is qualitatively different from 
xml:space and xml:lang. It applies to a single element rather than that 
element's entire subtree.

What the Boeing folks have pointed out (that xmlid is much easier to 
handle in namespace-aware processors than xml:id because it doesn't 
require any special casing) is yet another reason to prefer xmlid to xml:id.

The only reason to use xml:id is an adamant belief that all names should 
have colons in them. Namespaces have long since been recognized as an 
ungodly mess and an ugly kludge. It's well past time we stopped 
enforcing that kludge on every new spec despite very good reasons to go 
down a different path.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
XML in a Nutshell 3rd Edition Just Published!
Received on Friday, 22 April 2005 20:22:18 UTC

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