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   RE: power uses of XML vs. simple uses of XML

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  • From: Matt Sergeant <matt@sergeant.org>
  • To: Gavin Thomas Nicol <gtn@ebt.com>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 16:35:13 +0100 (BST)

On Mon, 10 Jul 2000, Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:

> > > I'm not sure about that. If you control the application in a given
> > > domain, then you control the semantics of the encoded data, and in
> > > such cases, even if you are embedding XHTML in your content, you
> > > don't need namespaces to tell you that.
> >
> > I think maybe you missed my point about "a variety of ways". If you're
> > only using XML in one domain and you don't need namespaces then there's
> > no need to gratuitously implement them. But work in different
> > areas/domains and with different technologies and eventually you're going
> > to run into a need for namespaces, unless you expand your tagset/DTD
> > beyond all sensibility.
> Well, I haven't seen too many applications where XML is used "in a variety
> of ways". That may be the future, but typically, vocabularies/tagsets
> are controlled quite tightly.

I must be being really unclear... 

<breath type="deep"/>
<try_again>If you, as a developer, specialise in XML, and start to work in
different XML application solutions, domains, areas and technologies, then
eventually you'll run into a use or need for namespaces.</try_again>

> Think of it this way: if your application knows nothing about XHTML, and
> someone randomly embeds <xhtml:p> in the data, what will it do with it?

If it's namespace aware, and it doesn't care about the namespace
associated with the xhtml prefix, then probably nothing.

> I think this is the normal case: at best the application can embed a
> handler,
> typically, it will ignore it, and in the worste case, it will cause the
> app to fail.

This is why apps should try and be namespaces aware by default,
IMHO. Ignoring something an application doesn't want to deal with is
probably going to be the right thing to do.


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