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   Re: Question About Namespaces and DTDs

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  • From: Matt Sergeant <matt@sergeant.org>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 13:03:35 +0100 (BST)

On Tue, 25 Jul 2000, Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> >Anyhow, the notion that namespaces were foisted on a resisting populace
> >by a small group of insiders is totally silly.  There was tons of input and 
> >agonizing hand-wringing and meetings and emails and successive drafts etc 
> >etc ad nauseum.  And in some parts of the spec, the community consensus was 
> >questionable.  But the basic notion of using URIs to extend names and make 
> >them unique had overwhelming buy-in from almost everyone (except those who 
> >wanted to stay with architectural forms).  Lots and lots of alternatives 
> >were considered.
> I think you may be selectively forgetting the various battles over
> namespaces in early '99 - my favorite example remaining (of course):
> http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/xml-dev-Jan-1999/0311.html
> While that was a particularly heated post, there was a lot of heat even
> before the namespaces spec was approved, and I don't think it's pushing too
> hard to suggest that it might have been a good warning sign...

Since then many people have gone away and actually produce working
programs that use namespaces effectively. Witness the applications of RDF
and XSLT to name just two.

> >There's no requirement that you like the namespace system, and
> >it's certainly possible that there was a better way to have done it that
> >the community wasn't smart enough to cook up.  But please drop this notion
> >that there's consensus on the other side: that namespaces are broken in
> >obvious ways and that these errors are avoidable in future.  -Tim
> I think we've wasted enough time on namespace issues of nearly every
> conceivable kind that it's impossible to avoid concluding that namespaces
> are broken.  They may, of course, be less broken than any other choice, in
> which case I'm very very grateful for the relative quiet we've enjoyed.

Using the same argument almost every concept in computing is broken to
some degree or another. Java is broken, HTML is broken, HTTP is broken,
MIME is broken, ASCII is broken, Unix is broken, Windows is broken, etc
etc. All of those things are true. But some of us just build applications
working around the defects, rather than striving for perfection.


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