RE: namespaces (was RE: rss regularis(z)ation)
Debating the pros and cons of XML namespaces is like arguing about whether the internal combustion engine is a good idea. The world has moved on. Hopefully XML-DEV will catch on to this in a few years. ________________________________ From: Simon St.Laurent [mailto:simonstl@s...] Sent: Tue 7/22/2003 5:43 AM To: xml-dev@l... Subject: namespaces (was RE: rss regularis(z)ation) david@m... (David Megginson) writes: >Danny Ayers writes: > > > A lot of the arguments I've heard against XML namespaces end with > > "...but I'll use them if I have to...", so I'm not sure about the > > toxicity. But in the context of RDF they make so much sense I > > personally find it hard to understand the objections. But (as has > > been joyfully pointed out here before) RDF/XML is hardly typical > > XML. So is there a bad smell to namespaces? Maybe. > >Most list members have probably done a fair bit of playing around with >XSLT and XSL-FO, and -- if they are still able to read this message -- >have survived XML Namespaces at least that far. I see we're veering into permathread territory. Maybe we need a placeholder entry on "namespaces" that we can point to every time someone asks what's good/bad about namespaces. Here's one attempt. Good: 1) Long names help disambiguate markup components 2) Long names are easier to process in some APIs than more intricate context information. Bad: 1) What's that URI really mean? Don't ask, or we'll never get home. In fact, it's probably better not to ask _anything_ about URIs, or we'll all end up on www-tag, with its 288 mostly URI-permathread messages this month alone. 2) Scoping makes for a strange set of issues, littering the landscape with extra declarations or making it difficult to do simple cut-and-paste with XML documents. 3) While most tools now understand namespaces and namespace declarations, many programmers still use local names even in very namespace-specific contexts. For one very small example of this, see , but I've encountered this practice constantly. I think that XSLT is the only programming space where this practice is rare, and that's because the tool doesn't work with local names alone. (Figuring that out causes beginners a lot of pain, but once they're past it, they're likely better XML practitioners.) 4) QNames in content seems to be an ever-expanding mess, with no means in sight for a normalization method that makes them context-independent. (That's largely because there's no simple mapping between QNames and URIs - hashes vs. slashes keeps that complicated.) To me, the bad factors outweigh the good, but I too have "survived namespaces" and implemented support for them in the code I've built. (Perversely, I'm even considering extending namespace support to entity names in a current project.) That said, I don't look on "survived" as a badge of pride - it's more that I've come to terms with toxic sludge in our collective basement which we can't afford to clean up.  http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2003Jul/  http://www.tbray.org/tag/rddl/r2n3.pl, referenced with a broken link from http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2003Jun/0004.html . -- Simon St.Laurent Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets Errors, errors, all fall down! http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription manager: <http://lists.xml.org/ob/adm.pl>
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