Namespaces, Architectural Forms, and Sub-Documents

Paul Prescod papresco at
Wed Feb 4 18:17:33 GMT 1998

Chris Maden wrote:
> [David Megginson]
> > "namespace:gi" element type names are unsuitable for several reasons:
> [...]
> > Why are people worried about writing specs to solve a problem that
> > already has good, working, available solutions?
> The problem (as I see it) is not one of including pieces of existing
> documents, nor of structural validation.  The main reason for
> namespaces is semantic inheritance.  

Architectural forms give you that.

> I want to write a scientific research paper quickly.  

The key word here is *quickly*. Architectural forms don't give you that.

> It should be *possible* to create a DTD to which such a document
> complies, but I am not as interested in automatic validation of a
> namespace document.  The interrelational issues are, I think, too
> complex to solve; in the example above, I would need to change the
> text-containing HTML elements' content models to include chemical and
> mathematical markup, and maybe allow HTML markup in MathML theorems.
> Pushing selected information into the content models is too ugly.

These issues are not complex at all. 

They are all handled nicely by the Japanese proposal. In a "modular
world", HTML would become a module that takes parameters such as
"object-types", "character span types", "block types" and so forth. You
pass in "MathML::Formula" as an "object-type" and the HTML %figure-type;
entity gets updated to reflect it. The issue is only complex in the
example you site because HTML was not designed to be modular because
SGML does not have a concept of DTD modules.

Even so, this is already dirt-common in SGML applications that don't
even *have* modules. You define a parameter entity and include the

"<!-- In order to use the CALS table model, various parameter entity
     declarations are required.  A brief description is as follows:


The only extra thing we need from modules is the namespace management
that helps us to avoid name clashes and a way to sneak parameter
entities or element names into the contained namespace.

 Paul Prescod

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