Namespaces from where?

Chris Maden crism at
Fri Sep 18 00:10:12 BST 1998

[Simon St.Laurent]
> I'm writing about namespaces (sooner or later I get to write about
> everything in XML, it seems), and I'm trying to figure out something
> different about namespaces than the usual stuff we've been arguing
> about here.  If I may be so nosy, where did this idea come from?  It
> doesn't seem to have come in as a NOTE, and so far as I know it
> lacks the usual SGML ancestry.  Glimmerings of it are visible in the
> XML 1.0 spec (xml:lang and xml:space), but otherwise it seems to
> have arrived fully born.

There was a requirement from other WGs that documents be able to
unambiguously refer to the semantics of those WGs' specifications in a
document.  For instance, "When I say <rdf>, I mean <rdf> as defined by
the RDF WG of the W3C."  Without something performing the functions
that namespaces perform, then browsers would be required to guess
based on the element type names.

This is a matter of record in the XML WG and SIG archives, but sadly,
they are not available to those not members of the W3C.

The purpose of W3C privacy is to give members a concrete advantage
over non-members (otherwise there's no point in joining).  But WGs are
required to make their work public within three months of inception;
at this point, it might do much more good than harm to open the older
archives to the public.

<!ENTITY crism PUBLIC "-//O'Reilly//NONSGML Christopher R. Maden//EN"
"<URL> <TEL>+1.617.499.7487
<USMAIL>90 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA 02140 USA" NDATA SGML.Geek>

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