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Re: Update on namespaces

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 15:53:57 -0500
Message-ID: <33B033E5.3DEB@w3.org>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Steven R. Newcomb wrote:
> [Tim Bray:]
> > 2. Use Architectural Forms (maybe just calling them reserved attributes)
> Why not use the ISO name for them: "Architectural Forms"?


Attributes are something that the XML spec explains,
and once the reader has learned that concept, the term
"reserved attributes" is self-evident, whereas "architectural
forms" has no meaning of its own; it has to be explained,
at some cost to the writer and significant cost to the reader.

>  Is it
> always necessary to conceal the fact that the some of XML's ideas
> also appear in the HyTime standard?  If so, may I ask why?

Geez... that sounds pretty paranoid.

If the terminology used in HyTime is the simplest way to explain
things to our intended audience, then by all means, we should
use them. I don't see any explicit effort to hide HyTime.

> > We are
> > encountering HUGE, MASSIVE resistance to this in web-land.  When we explain
> > that it's not that hard, we are told to go away, you've given us elements
> > and attributes, we like elements and attributes, why can't we do everything
> > with elements and attributes?
> I don't understand the merit of this argument.  Are we supposed to
> make design judgments based on the ill-considered clamorings of the
> ignorant?

Er... in a word: yes.

This namespace discussion (which I am having trouble following
for the reasons David gives[1]) is motivated by a desire to
use XML for metadata, i.e. knowledge representation.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-sgml-wg/1997Jun/0277.html

This desire is based on a perceived opportunity to exploit
the common understanding of SGML markup, i.e. tags and attributes.

If not for the value of exploiting the common understanding of
HTML-ish markup, we'd just go on using lisp s-expressions for
knowledge representation as was done in PICS-1.0 and most
mature knowledge representation systems (e.g. [2]) to date.

[2] http://www-ksl.stanford.edu/

As Tim Bray said, metadata is likely the "killer app" for XML.
If you believe that, as I do, then you should be very concerned with
the mass perception of XML.

Dan Connolly, Architecture Domain Lead
Received on Tuesday, 24 June 1997 16:53:18 UTC

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