SAX2: Namespace proposal
peter at ursus.demon.co.uk
Sun Dec 19 11:16:31 GMT 1999
At 03:45 PM 12/18/99 -0500, David Megginson wrote:
>In my last message, I summarized some of the major positions that have
>emerged on Namespace support in SAX2.
I am deliberately not taking a position in this.
>Anyway, here's what I'm suggesting.
[... spec and example deleted ...]
>This is kind-of painful, I know, but please remember that SAX is meant
>to be the equivalent of a low-level device driver, not an elegant,
>high-level API (though those can be and have been built on top of it).
I would like to thank David for coming up with this proposal and I hope
that the community is able to move forward rapidly with it. Namespace
support is an all-or-nothing thing - if you have one critical tool in the
set that doesn't support namespaces, then it is likely that you won't use
To take CML as an example, a typical document *ought to* look something like:
People are now starting to author CML documents, using the DTD and examples
that I and Henry have published. NONE of the authors, including myself uses
namespaces because there is not a consistent toolset. So we actually see:
and processing programs rely on the likelihood that there will be no
semantic collision with some other document.
My pressing need is to get a workable namespace-processing mechanism before
we get overtaken by well-meant but incorrect attempts to create exemplar
documents *** and code ***. I would expect almost all CML authors to
actually be using code that looks like:
if (name.equals("molecule")) ...
I expect that some may be even be writing:
if (name.equals("molecule") || name.equals("cml:molecule")) ...
which we all wish to avoid.
One thing that I continue to urge is that things be kept simple. I have
consistently done this because only simple things can be easily implemented
in a community-wide approach. It may sound irresponsible but I think it is
more important that SAX2 gets implemented than that we get every bit
It is worth noting that Namespaces - which apparently involve very little
programming to implement - have taken a surprisingly long time to get
What David has suggested is something that I can use and will use if it
gets taken forward.
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