Re: What's wrong with namespaces? Some observations andsuggest
On 04/12/2010 01:34, Amelia A Lewis wrote: > Heyo. > > So, I've been (recently, publicly) critical of the Namespaces in XML > specification. My summary version: when I try to teach someone who > doesn't care about XML about XML APIs, it's namespaces where they > Boggle and Fall Down. I agree with this analyssis. Elements should have simple (string-valued) names, using hierarchic naming to achieve uniqueness, and context-sensitive abbreviation to achieve conciseness. It should always be legitimate to use the full name if abbreviation is not wanted. Hierarchic naming: for example an element might be called :org.w3c.html.table. Abbreviation: this might be abbreviated to "table". How is the abbreviated name resolved? Using the hierarchic name of the parent element. So the outermost element gives the full name <:org.w3c.html.html> and inner elements can use abbreviated names if they are in the same "namespace": <:org.w3c.html.html> <head> <title>...</title> </head> <body> <:org.w3c.svg.svg> <rectangle> .... Of course, this is hopelessly incompatible. Or is it? One could devise a transition mechanism. If we see something like <xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform" version="2.0"> then we could regard that as merely a quaint old-fashioned way of saying <:org.w3c.www.1999.XSL.Transform.stylesheet version="2.0"> Hierarchic naming with optional abbreviation works so well across so many branches of computing, and indeed real life (for example phone numbers); it's a tragedy that it wasn't adopted from the start. Michael Kay Saxonica
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