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

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  • From: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
  • To: "Ed Nixon" <ed.nixon@LynnParkPlace.org>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1999 09:57:59 -0400

At 08:26 PM 8/29/99 -0400, Ed Nixon wrote:

>However, what I haven't seen 'mongst the sound and fury is anything from Ann
>or anyone else regarding the 'persuasive arguments' she mentions in support
>of the multi-namespace approach. I hope there are no constraints in her
>sharing them with us.

Well, I tend to err on the side of caution there, in that much of the
argument occured within the scope of WG meetings. 

Paul Prescod has rightly pointed out that we need a Namespaces Evolution
process. We don't have one, yet people are forced to try and forsee how
that might be managed, and sort of eek out one of their own. 

My interpretation of W3C management stance is that namespaces can indeed be
bound to schemas. (Based on comments directly from Tim Berners-Lee and others)

Logically, this makes sense. It gives us something to do with it. It
answers the argument that there is no "there" there in namespaces. (A very
common response and frustration to using them). 

Consider the English alphabet. We know, as an abstract concept, that this
is the letters a through z. We can call it the English Alphabet Namepsace,
and give it a URI over at Merriam-Webster or something. 

Great, that's nice and abstract. Yes, it can help prevent naming
collisions, but it doesn't allow you to learn anything at all about them
(other than the URI that represents it's namespace, which in and of itself
is rather useless). 

Doesn't at all prevent them from writing a document that says "The English
Alphabet contains the following characters (case insensitive): a, b, c,
d........z" and slapping it up at the URI provided for that namespace. 

An application could try to visit that URL and find that definition doc.
Yes, we know that the namespaces rec says there is no expectation that
something will be there. But heck, it can try. And what do you know, it
finds something. Hey great, I have a machine readable version of that
abstract collection. My machine might actually be able to do something with
it now other than prevent naming collisions. 

Sounds great to me. 

Apologies to anyone who may be offended by my seemingly flippant attitude
toward this, but practical applications do it for me, where abstraction
often is simply a fun academic exercise. 

Ann (call me a Namespace Heretic) Navarro

Author of Effective Web Design: Master the Essentials
Coming in September --- Mastering XML

Founder, WebGeek Communications            http://www.webgeek.com
Vice President-Finance, HTML Writers Guild http://www.hwg.org
Director, HWG Online Education             http://www.hwg.org/services/classes

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