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   Re: [xml-dev] limits of the generic

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"Thomas B. Passin" <tpassin@comcast.net> wrote:
| [Arjun Ray]

|> In what sense are namespaces (as defined in the Rec) "generic"?

| I said "generic" because namespaces apply to all the specializations 
| (at least, those that make use of them), but the details of the 
| namespaces and what they denote can be specialized. 

Well, that's a peculiar statement, too.  Weren't namespaces supposed to be
(the essential component of) a generalization to multiple "vocabularies"
in a single document?  Would we want a specialized way to generalize, or
would we want a generic way to generalize?  Or, are you saying, multiple
vocabularies are a specialization of single vocabularies, and therefore
any method to accomplish that, or even to appear to accomplish that - such
as namespaces - is generic? 

| This is much like providing for element names in xml of sgml - the generic 
| spec sets forth hwo to construct names but leaves it to the specialized 
| uses to refine and  constrain.

That would be colonified names.  I can think of uses for the syntactic
device per se, but the namespaces bogosity - which tries to philosophize
on the prefix - is not one of them. :-) 
| Even though I labeled namespaces as a generic addition to the generic 
| nature of the original xml rec, I certainly agree that they constrain that 
| rec.  I am saying that they do it at a fairly non-specific level.

I couldn't disagree more.  They cripple it.  Note that all the problems
with namespaces are precisely in the mulitple-vocabulary context.  Wow.

| I think you are articulating one of my points, that the way more 
| specialised or contraining specs work with the more generic ones is very 
| important but also it is non-trivial to arrive at a good solution.

There is no good solution when politics preordain the outcome.  The myth
simply will not die that namespaces were a "technical solution" of some
kind.  They were a year's worth of insensate babbling about "universal
names" and whatnot tacked onto a favored syntactic device that gave enough
in the way of warm fuzzy feelings in some influential quarters that they
simply had to have it.

| So I would argue that, from the point of view of augmenting the basic
| generic spec (xml 1.0), namespaces did pretty well. 

They've kept a lot of people busy, yes.;-)


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