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   Re: Begging the Question

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  • From: David Megginson <david@megginson.com>
  • To: "'xml-dev@lists.xml.org'" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2000 07:44:22 -0500 (EST)

Simon St.Laurent writes:

 > I would humbly suggest that it might be reasonable at this point to put
 > "namespaces mean X because the namespaces spec says so" into the same
 > category as "one must keep servants because all respectable people do so."

Not quite -- it's more akin to saying

  The U.S. president is head of state because the U.S. constitution
  says so.

In each case, while they're often ambiguous, self-contradictory, and
underspecified, the XML Namespaces spec and the U.S. Constitution are
normative documents, not simply unproven assumptions.  That doesn't
establish that the it is natural or morally right that the
U.S. president be (or not be) head of state, but it does correctly
state that the president's position conforms to the specification that
defines the United States in the first place.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david@megginson.com


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