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Re: Was: mode and moved to Namespaces

Subject: Re: Was: mode and moved to Namespaces
From: ac <ac@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 21:01:05 -0400
Re: Was:  mode and moved to Namespaces
Hi Jirka,

I appreciate your time, consideration, suggestions, and arguments.

You are right, there is a lookup cost, and this is not the way I prefer to use namespaces. OTOH, the space saving and associated overhead saving can justify the lookup cost for something that can get large and needs to stay in busy memory, at least for a while.

It would be much nicer if namespaces could be further supported, including support for hierarchical namespaces, as well as namespace optimization. Namespaces are, apart from comments, one of the three basic XML constructs. Three isn't much, which is fine, but each should be maximized to help better satisfy application requirements.

I do not doubt that you are open-minded and I certainly appreciate your constructive comments. In fact I agree with them. I do admit that "simply wrong" did not allow me to understand and contribute technically. But it is looking much better now.

I also realize that matching on the names is risky and would be better addressed through the URIs. The added cost is not high enough to justify the risk, and the space saving is probably still worth the effort, depending on the number of languages that need to be supported, the size of the vocabulary, and the memory constraints.

Still, as everything is a trade off, I would still maintain, given all constraints, that this is another valid use case for namespaces, when it applies. I would also recommend that we consider how namespaces can better fulfill more useful roles in XML, including how they can be expanded, and more efficiently supported.

There is a real conceptual need for namespaces and it may be that we are just starting to better realize it.

Regards,
ac



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ac wrote:

The current translation dictionary is setup somewhat like:
...
<word en:title="Mr" f-en:title="Mrs" fr:title="M." f-fr:title="Mme" ... />
<word en:noun="chair" fr:noun="chaise" ... />
...

all feminine variants can be returned with:
/dic/word/@*[starts-with(name(.), 'f-')]
Such lookups will tend to be quite slow because matching on name of
element/attribute can't be done using dictionary -- high efficient XSLT
implementations doesn't store element/attributes names for each node,
but they store just number pointing to dictionary with the real
qualified name. This saves memory and makes matching on name very fast.
But if name is not directly present in XPath such fast matching can't be
done.

all French feminine can be returned with
/dic/word/@f-fr:*
all French feminine adjectives can be returned with
/dic/word/@f-fr:adjective
all translated English words return form
/dic/word/@en:*
The trouble with such approach is that you can't change language during
the runtime. You have to pregenerate all queries before running
transformation or use dynamic XPath evaluation (which is not part of
XSLT standard yet).

all English nouns, whatever gender, can be obtained with something like
/dic/word/@*:nouns[contains(name(), 'en:')]
If you are using namespaces then this code is not correct. You should
match on namespace name not actual prefix used. So query should be more
like:

/dic/word/@*:nouns[namespace-uri() = 'whatever URI was assigned to en']

It must be good to know what is right from what is wrong,
especially with an absolute perspective.
I have to admit that I have always had some disbelief about absolute
beliefs,
but I will keep an open mind, at least just in case.
I consider myself very open-minded. Your usage for namespaces in this
particular case surely works for you, but it's misuse of namespaces.
They were not designed for this and their usage for this several
engineering flaws.

- --
- ------------------------------------------------------------------
   Jirka Kosek      e-mail: jirka@xxxxxxxx      http://xmlguru.cz
- ------------------------------------------------------------------
        Professional XML consulting and training services
   DocBook customization, custom XSLT/XSL-FO document processing
- ------------------------------------------------------------------
  OASIS DocBook TC member, W3C Invited Expert, ISO JTC1/SC34 member
- ------------------------------------------------------------------
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