why do namespaces have such a bad rep (was Re: Experimenting with Namesp
why do namespaces have such a bad reputation? in particular, why are they discredited for having been conflated with something which they are not, and which they do not claim to be? Steven R. Newcomb wrote: > David Megginson (ak117@f...) writes: > > > Personally, I'd recommend architectural forms over namespaces if > > you're concerned with DTDs, since architectural forms have several > > major advantages: > > David is right. > > But I would go farther: XML Namespaces are a snare and a delusion. > With their use of colon syntax, they lull one into thinking that that > are about class inheritance. why? what does colon syntax have to do with class inheritance? > They are not. i agree. > Instead, what the > namespace thing does is to collapse all the structure of the classes > of the inherited-from DTD into a salad of element types which is very > correctly termed a namespace rather than an architecture. All that the namespace 'thing' maps the names from the "inherited from (sic) DTD" into a unique region of a two dimensional namespace. it says nothing at the structure. > RDF was looking for was a way to guarantee global uniqueness of > element type names, and if we ever try to get anything more than that > from namespaces, we are on very thin ice indeed. > agreed, but it doesn't claim to. > If the inherited-from DTD is already a tag salad, in which all the > element types are a big OR group in the content model of the document > element, namespaces can work quite well. If, however, an element type > has different meanings depending on its context (and most > architectures necessarily have this characteristic), then collapsing > such an architecture into a namespace can actively interfere with > information interchange. the wd doesn't propose to collapse the architecture, it proposes to map the names. > > > I think RDF would benefit substantially, in terms of its > understandability, its implementability, and its flexibility, if it > were described in terms of inherited architectures. In fact, I think > it cries out for an architectural perspective, in which the > knowability and significance of element context is preserved. which all may be true, but doesn't say anything about what namespaces do. > ... > Anyway, all is not lost. This namespace thing is a mistake that will > necessarily be corrected, simply in order to support the needs of > civilization in an XML-dominated world. The way toward a solution is > already paved by an ISO standard (ISO/IEC 10744:1997 Annex A.3) that > is being adjusted to accommodate the syntactic limitations of XML > (i.e., its lack of #NOTATION attributes). It is implemented in the SP > parser and in other software systems, and it is already being used in > many industrial contexts. It's the right sort of answer, it's not > going away, and its usage is accelerating rapidly; there was a > manyfold increase in the number of papers reporting its use at > SGML/XML 97. it also has equivalent mechanisms to manage the same problem within a one-dimensional namespace. (i.e. the problem doesn't go away) some may find the ability to rename an advantage, as it allows one to alter the intended semantics. i wonder whether it as often leads to confusion. where the issue is really name-uniqueness, namespaces are a much more compact expression. there's no reason they couldn't be integrated into sgml architectures - but for the deconstructivist aims, they'd accomplish the same thing as the renaming attribute... why wouldn't people just take them for what they are - orthogonal to the issue of structure, and use them for what they can do? bye for now, james anderson 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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