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   RE: [xml-dev] rss regularis(z)ation

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> Instead,
> namespaces are (as Danny Ayers points out elsewhere, can't remember where
> offhand) one of the principal cleavage points in the RSS world.

Some cleavage :

Note that the namespace cleavage has only appeared in this "simple" branch.
The RSS 1.0 branch uses namespaces extensively even for relatively simple
feeds, using standard terms like those of Dublin Core. There it just

Some (moderately amusing) historical references to namespaces in Userland

> Are those
> resisting namespaces just being stupid/stubborn, or are they the
> "canaries
> in the coalmines" dropping over from the toxic namespace fumes?

A lot of the arguments I've heard against XML namespaces end with "...but
I'll use them if I have to...", so I'm not sure about the toxicity. But in
the context of RDF they make so much sense I personally find it hard to
understand the objections. But (as has been joyfully pointed out here
before) RDF/XML is hardly typical XML. So is there a bad smell to
namespaces? Maybe.

> Does all this indicate "something seriously wrong with XML"?  Certain
> aspects of RSS practice (such as the casual disregard for well-formedness
> and the bizarre practice of CDATA-escaping random HTML-ish text)
> certainly
> give me the willies.

I wouldn't characterise those as much aspects of RSS practice, rather of
certain practitioners. I don't think the CDATA stuff is quite as bizarre as
it seems - the motivation is to use HTML markup for content, but without
namespaces and XHTML this leads to a bit of a mess.

 But I think the RSS developers (mostly) see
> that this
> takes them to the edge of a very slippery slope with nasty rocks at the
> bottom, and are trying to edge back from it.  So, they are easily
> exploiting the most powerful bits of XML and can be taught about best
> practice when it comes to the harder bits. I see the thrashing
> attempts of
> the RSS people to use XML -- and the work of the J2ME people to
> figure out
> what bits of the XML corpus are valuable enough to fit into a constrained
> device, for that matter -- as evolutionary experiments to learn
> from rather
> than heresies to stamp out.

Heh, I agree with your conclusion but not your observations! The first one
anyway - there has been a continuous tug-of-war between developers that want
to do things as 'properly' as possible and those that want things to be as
'simple' as possible. There probably wouldn't have been any conflict if
'simple' hadn't used underspecification as a tool. The 'properly's have
often frightened the 'simple's when talking about standards, namespaces and
so on, and now the 'properly's are moving on with Atom. Meanwhile the
'simple' RSS 2.0 wagons have circled around some good stuff but also quite a
lot of garbage.



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