Colonialism, SAX, Java, and Namespaces

Paul Prescod paul at
Fri Feb 5 15:43:33 GMT 1999

"Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> I would really appreciate if someday the people building W3C specs would
> acknowledge that 'average developers' actually do have to worry about
> namespaces, notations, parameter entities, include/ignore sections, and
> trying to read the specs themselves. 

In my mind, this is just silly. I've never read the "SQL Specs" (have
you?) and I certainly don't know everything there is to know about SQL or
relational database technology. That doesn't make me a knuckle-dragging
neanderthal. It makes me someone who recognizes that he doesn't need to
know EVERYTHING about EVERY technology he uses. That's a losing
proposition for a working programmer.

I'm also someone who recognizes that it is not appropriate to dumb down
everything so that I *CAN* understand it in its entirety. All I ask is
that the actual interfaces that I am asked to work with be simplified so
that I can follow them. The "interface" to namespaces for a developer is
SAX or RDF engine and eventually DOM. *That's* what should be simple.

Namespaces are an infrastructure technology. You use them THROUGH
something, like RDF. Without something like RDF they are essentially
useless. So unless you think that "RDF" is for the "average developer",
namespaces are not for the average developer. When/if something like RDF
takes off that situation may change.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did,
but she did it backwards and in high heels."
                                               --Faith Whittlesey

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