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   re: ATTN: Please comment on XHTML (before it's too late)

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: xml-dev <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 12:27:31 -0400 (EDT)

Eliot Kimber writes:

 > Oren Ben-Kiki wrote:

 > > Providing three different namespaces which have the same
 > > semantics would force application writers to abandon this
 > > assumption. In XHTML, 'traditional:p', 'strict:p' and
 > > 'frameset:p' are the same thing. This would seriously mess XHTML
 > > applications up - put another way, it would cause generic XML
 > > applications to fail on XHTML documents.
 > Why would three name spaces cause more failures than one name space?
 > Either you know what the names mean or you don't. 

Because human beings write computer programs:

1. It is necessary to perform three tests rather than one to identify
   a name from XHTML: that means three separate patterns in XSL (for
   example), three separate contexts in a context-sensitive search
   engine, three separate XML queries, three separate XPointers,
   etc. etc.  

   All of this means three times the opportunity for bugs and
   interoperability problems (and yet more accusations that the W3C
   cannot create specs that work together).

2. If the intention of XHTML is to continue to create new Namespaces
   for future versions of XHTML, you run into a serious deployment
   problem where old software will not work properly with new
   documents.  If you don't believe that versioning is a problem on
   the Web, then look at the lack of even Java 1.1 applets for general 
   use (because Netscape 3.0 doesn't have a Java 1.1 VM).

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com

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