Inheritance and other buzzwords
I think that altogether too much is being heaped up here on too narrow a base. What does XML do? It allows documents to be subdivided into parts, and for those parts to be given names. As an additional benefit, it allows the parts' names and contents, when they are textual, to contain characters from around the world. The trade-off is that the parts have to be arranged in a hierarchically nested fashion. XML does this in such a way that systems can agree on where the parts are, what they are named, and what their contents are, without having to share any software. That's all! The current namespace proposal adds one level of indirection to the names we give document components, and includes a technique for ensuring that the names are unique across the universe of the Internet. That's all! It seems obvious to me that there are a variety of ways that DTDs could usefully be made namespace-aware; this does *not* mean that I think we know how to write down rules for automatic schema synthesis; I still think humans should design documents. I want such a designer to be able to say "My namespace is ID'ed by URI1, and my X element has to start with an A element from the URI2 namespace, followed one of my own Z elements, followed by..." you get the idea. Then the software can sort out the prefixes and do perfectly good validation. This could probably be done very nicely in front-end filters and allow the use of current 8879-based technology. In fact, why doesn't someone on this list write such a preprocessor? I think conventional DTD's, with the additional leverage of universal names, would be damn useful. I think it's a base requirement that any document design language of the future deal with qualified (i.e. universal) names. Any such facility that seriously gets in the way of using this kind of name just won't fly in the Web milieu. The idea of trying to get serious mileage out of any kind of a name that can't be mapped to a URI is something that will work only in a closed inward-looking shop. Which there are a lot of out there, but we're supposed to be designing technology for the Internet. I do not understand architectural forms well enough to have an opinion as to how well they co-exist with universal names. But Eliot doesn't seem too worried by it. Cheers, Tim Bray tbray@t... http://www.textuality.com/ +1-604-708-9592 xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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