Namespaces Not Necessarily Unrepentant Evil

Tim Bray tbray at
Fri Aug 28 03:18:19 BST 1998

At 07:31 PM 8/27/98 -0500, W. Eliot Kimber wrote:
>I still have some concerns about namespaces that I think are legitimate:
>1. The use of name spaces alone does not satisfy requirements that an
>architecture-like approach does satisfy

Granted.  Hence the following is serious:

>2. I see some enterprises and people overselling the power of namespaces 

Yes.  Fortunately, at this point most such people collapse instantly
given the slightest technical challenge.  Four words: "Namespaces don't
do that."  It is our responsibility as community leaders to get out there
and make this clear to the world.

>3. The effectively compulsory use of name spaces unnecessarily complicates
>XML parsers and processors. 

I don't buy it.  The extra work is hardly noticeable and I don't
expect it to affect performance in the slightest.

>4. Name spaces take away authorial choice of element type and attribute

No, just of the prefix.  I expect that once we have namespace-aware
schemas, they will never contain a prefix, so the document designer
and author should think entirely in terms of <start-time> and <duration> 
and so on, and if when a chunk of that markup gets assembled into a 
package for delivery, if those become <sex:start-time> and <sex:duration> 
who cares?  

>Again, my apologies to those who I badgered inappropriately. 

Not required. -Tim

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