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Wait a sec while I change into my Nomex suit...
I'd like to propose a mechanism for minimizing namespace hassles while
maintaining readability. I expect this will raise hackles immediately, but
hear me out:
The mechanism for declaring namespace prefixes seems to be the primary
failure point for namespaces. The association by scope of a prefix and it's
declaration gives rise to all sorts of mischief when scope changes during
document manipulation. Add default namespace declarations and things get way
too interesting sometimes.
All-in-all, given the design motivations of the WG, the basic mechanism is
sound on a syntax level. Unfortunately, it creates dependencies withing a
document that then need to be managed both internally and externally. Is
there a way to manage these dependencies better, make them more
My opinion is that the answer lies in a prefix registry. I know that's
controversial, mainly because it creates an authority structure that has to
be consulted prior to assigning prefixes to names. I think this can be
mitigate, though, by having a provisional namespace prefix mechanism that is
essentially the same as it exists now, minus default namespaces. Registered
prefixes would then be denoted by special naming conventions.
The advantage of a registry is that prefixed names become universal names
when prefixes are registered. There are no scope issues. The primary
disadvantage of registration is that there will be a prefix rush. I don't
see a dependency on access to the registry at parse time, unless there are
resources to be associated with the prefix (such as a URI to a RDDL doc)
that the parser needs.
And, lastly, default namespace declarations would have to go...
I'm sure this is not a new proposal, but it's been at least a year since it
was shot down last time... :-} Those permathreads need regular wear or
they grow stiff.