Expanded names are not enough

Tim Bray tbray at textuality.com
Thu Aug 6 08:18:37 BST 1998

At 10:41 AM 8/6/98 +0700, James Clark wrote:
>For example in an XSL stylesheet an element representing a rule can
>contain an attribute value with a string such as "ns:foo" with the
>semantic that this rule matches an element in the source of a type which
>has a local name "foo" and a URI equal to the URI in effect for the
>prefix "ns" on the rule element in the stylesheet.

Yes, but the person writing the stylesheet knows what namespace his
rule elements are in, right?  So in effect, you're still specifying a 
match based on the underlying URI, not the prefix?  I have a feeling
you wouldn't have posted that if the answers weren't "wrong, and no".

So could you give a motivating example.  I find it really hard to be
comfortable with any scenario in which the prefix, not the associated
URI, has any real effect... it seems so clearly just a placeholder. 
I'd go so far as to say that scenarios in which the prefixes become
interesting are prima facie evidence of weakness in the namespace
facility.  I mean, in C, are the semantics of strlen() and strcpy()
ever affected by the name of the char * variable they're applied to?  

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