Re: [Fwd: ATTN: Please comment on XHTML (before it's too late)]
Ann Navarro wrote: > > At 06:41 PM 8/29/99 +0100, W. Eliot Kimber wrote: > > > > No, we've not confused them. We happen to have three 'flavors' of XHTML 1.0 > > > (the first deliverable from the XHTML project, not the end sum of our > > > work), that essentially map to the three flavors of HTML 4.0. Each of them > > > was assigned a namespace that corresponds in title to the three flavor > > > names. We do not mistakenly confuse their DTDs for their namespaces. (nor > > > are we limiting XHTML to the use of DTDs, Schemas, as has been pointed out, > > > 'isn't soup yet') > > > >But: name spaces do not define anything. Therefore, a namespace cannot > >be the *definition* of what these three flavors are. > > I didn't say they did define anything. I said they each have a namespace. > Period. They each have a DTD. Period. Ah, my mistake--you're right, the two are separate (and separable). But I think it's more accurate to say: XHTML defines three distinct (but related) document types, each with its own DTD declarations, etc. Each of these document types *is considered to be* the definition of the corresponding name spaces x, y, and z. That is, it's not meaningful to say that a DTD *has* a name space, because a name space isn't something that a DTD can have. It is only meaningful to say that a DTD defines some or all of the vocabulary for which a name space name is the name (remembering that as defined in the name space recommendation, a name space is merely a name for a notional name space--the actual vocabulary (that is, the set of names in the name space) has no defined formal definition from the point of view of the name space spec). But I'm splitting hairs in order to make the point that name spaces, by themselves, are worthless. If the XHTML spec formally defines document types and defines the intended binding between names in a given name space and the types defined, that's fine, because at least I will be justified in building that binding into my programs. But, having said that, I think that David's point is now well taken: there is no need to conflate the *syntactic* distinctions that these three flavors of XHTML make with the *semantic* distinctions they make. That is, an HTML paragraph is an HTML paragraph whether its content is restricted or unrestricted. That's why I said there are *four* definitions, not three: one for the base semantic types and three for the syntactic (and possibly semantic) specializations. By using a single name space name for all three (or four) variants, you let cheap processors make inferences about meaning from names with a minimum of extra effort. It's still a dangerous game, but at least the convenience of playing it has been improved. Note that you still have to declare in your document which variant you're using, but that could be distinct from the base semantic binding. That is, you could have one name space for all flavors of XHTML and use some other mechanism for indicating which semantic flavor you want (e.g., a normative external DTD setup, an architecture use declaration, a reserved attribute, etc.). The use of name spaces is a *convenience* and the fact that name spaces have no defined semantic implications means, in part, that there is no necessary correlation between them. Thus, XHTML could as easily have one name space as three--it wouldn't change the base problem of knowing which semantic (and syntactic) variant you have. Cheers, E. 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/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1 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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