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   Requirements for namespaces, etc

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  • From: James Robertson <jamesr@steptwo.com.au>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 12:20:30 +1000

Hi all,

Very obviously, there is a lot of thought
and discussion being applied to issues such
as namespaces at the moment.

Now, we've all been through this before
(several times), and no consensus has ever
been reached.

Thus the current mess we're in.

Now, a message I read today (I forgot
to note who from), talked about practical
requirements, in terms of real-world

This has got me thinking.

It strikes me that what the whole
W3C processes are missing is a proper
requirements gathering process.

Without this, it simply comes down
to the raw technical merits of one
idea versus another, and what results
are specifications like XSL which are
technically elegant, but simply
don't match real world needs (in my opinion,
of course).

I would like to sow the seed of
an idea:

How about the W3C initiate a process
of requirements gathering/"use cases"
(whatever you want to call it) that identifies
the key practical goals and functionality
of the system.

These should be presented in concrete
terms, in the form of real-world scenarios.

I think these can be agreed on by a good
majority of people, if sufficient work is

_Then_ we all look at the best way of
implementing a technical solution that
meets _these_ needs.

(If consensus can't be reached, or practical
use cases can't be identified, then we should
question whether we're ready for a specifcation.)

I know I'm stating the obvious here,
and telling people what they already know,
but we seem to very easily get caught up
in the minutae of it all ...

Just a thought,


James Robertson
Step Two Designs Pty Ltd
SGML, XML & HTML Consultancy
Illumination: an out-of-the-box Intranet solution


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