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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 16:33:57 +0100 (BST)

On Wed, 26 Jul 2000, Simon St.Laurent wrote:

> At 01:03 PM 7/26/00 +0100, Matt Sergeant wrote:
> >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.
> Working applications on that level, though promising in their own right,
> are barely a sign of a functioning standard.  

But they demonstrate that the standard is usable for a large enough subset
of work to make it useful.

> We're still not entirely sure how to handle relative URI references, though
> the W3C seems to be moving toward temporarily banning them.  We're
> definitely not sure what if the entity body retrievable from the URI
> reference should contain or mean anything, and there's not even very much
> agreement about which URI schemes are appropriate for namespaces.
> Complex compound documents are barely getting started.  I'm looking forward
> to seeing them, but at the same time, I have some looming concerns that the
> philosophical issues surrounding namespaces, especially the URI issues, are
> not likely to become less controversial.  I expect that to have a sizable
> impact on interoperability as well, but we'll see what happens.

Well eventually all this will settle down, and people will realise that
the sky is not actually falling :-)

> >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.
> Perhaps, but it seems reasonably clear that namespaces do much of the
> 'breaking' in XML.  I'd love to know (and don't have time to figure out)
> what share of posts on XML-Dev over the last two years have been
> namespace-related.  Seems to be a recurring cycle.

Sure. Just like most posts to Perl help message boards are to do with
regexes - they are a fundamental and slightly confusing part of the
language, but not any more broken than any other standard out there (ever
tried to implement an NNTP or IRC server and you'll see what I mean about
the proliferation of broken standards out there).


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