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Re: Lesson Learned: Use namespaces for both markup and data

  • From: Kurt Cagle <kurt.cagle@gmail.com>
  • To: Uche Ogbuji <uche@ogbuji.net>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Aug 2009 10:58:06 -0700

Re:  Lesson Learned: Use namespaces for both markup and data
Uche,

I suspect that you're having the same feelings that others are. I won' t be able to make Liam's session on Tuesday on namespaces, but certainly I think its something that should be discussed at Balisage, as well as on the lists.

Your point about namespace scope and data modeling is well taken. I'm finding that with XForms, where understanding namespace scope is a prerequisite and a  headache - I can spend a good half hour with an XForms page trying to figure out if the reason nothing's shown up is because I have a misconfigured namespace somewhere, and things get even uglier when you start having to deal with distributed services and updates with databases that may have their own namespace issues.

I think we've hit the critical usage mass where there's enough people recognizing that there are problems here to perhaps create a permanent namespace solution, something that will address a lot of the problems of a spec that's always been the ungainly stepchild of the XML movement.

Kurt Cagle
Managing Editor
http://xmlToday.org


On Sun, Aug 9, 2009 at 9:59 AM, Uche Ogbuji <uche@ogbuji.net> wrote:
On Sun, Aug 9, 2009 at 9:25 AM, Costello, Roger L. <costello@mitre.org> wrote:

Hi Folks,

   Ouch!

   I've just been bitten and I'd like
   to share the lesson I learned.

Namespaces are great. I highly recommend them.

But here's the thing ...

   Namespaces are not just important for markup,
   they are also important for data.

   ...

Here is a short article I wrote describing the lesson I learned about the importance of using namespaces for both markup and data:

http://www.xfront.com/namespaces-is-for-markup-and-data/


Your comments are welcome.

Yuck!  Just Yuck!  You'll never catch me doing that, and moreover, I hope your idea doesn't catch on ;)

 In the run-up to Balisage I've started carving out a bit of time to keep up with XML-DEV again, for the first time in years, and I've noticed all the activity looking for ways to "fix" XML namespaces (still).  The past few years have reinforced for me the feeling I was starting to have that what we need is less of the ghastly mess we call namespaces, not more.  Amelia ran down the problems quite well. XMLNS is a hotch-potch of crazy, inconsistent, illogical rules that even the experts can't reconcile, not to mention the poor folks to whom we recommend XML.  QNames in content have compounded the problems and complicated every potential fix.  Spreading that even more into the field of data and data modeling is the last thing we need.

Scope is a fundamental aspect of data modeling, and I don't think it should be handled by a syntactic device such as namespaces.  It should be incorporated into the heart of data models, which would provide superior remedy to the issues you raised.  In other words, you need more than XML Schema, and you should acknowledge that properly, rather than further stretching hacks that are already at the breaking point.


--
Uche Ogbuji                       http://uche.ogbuji.net
Founding Partner, Zepheira        http://zepheira.com
Linked-in profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ucheogbuji
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* http://www.balisage.net/



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