ATTN: Please comment on XHTML (before it's too late)

David Megginson david at
Sun Aug 29 20:54:22 BST 1999

W. Eliot Kimber writes:

 > I'm talking about definitional machinery, not processing machinery. All
 > I really want is an explicit names-space-to-schema binding. That is,
 > something stated *in the document* that I can rely on as the basis for
 > mapping element instances to semantics. I don't have to *process* the
 > schema in order to do that (any more than I have to validate a document
 > in order to process it). But I do have to have a reliable *name* for
 > semantic definition, and the name-space name *IS NOT IT*. And pretending
 > that it is is dangerous at best.

We agree violently on this point.

 > > XML Namespaces cannot work the same way as classes and interfaces in a
 > > closed system -- all of the useful information (or at least enough of
 > > it for processing) *has* to be in the document instance itself, not in
 > > a separate schema that might reference another schema that might
 > > reference another schema, etc.  That means that a Namespace URI is a
 > > lot like a domain name -- a single, well-known public identity for a
 > > collection of markup definitions -- and not very much like a class.
 > No--it should be that, but it's not, because nothing the namespace spec
 > provides for the binding, therefore, there is no way to put the binding
 > in the document. How hard is this to understand? 

The Name can still be known a priori.  

For example, DNS resolution can associate the name ""
with the IP address, but that's hardly the value of the
name -- the domain name itself is a well-known brand and has many
other, less formal associations.  To prove this point, think of how
much you'd have to offer them to sell you the domain name, even if
you let them keep the IP address.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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