SAX, Java, and Namespaces (was Re: Restricted NamespacesforXML)

Paul Prescod paul at
Fri Feb 5 18:58:37 GMT 1999

Tim Bray wrote:
> Yes, it's possible, but it seems crystal clear to me that a year or
> so from now, the "average XML document", were such a thing to exist,
> would have namespaces.  Office 2000 is full of 'em.  

I understand that but I do not think that the consumers of those documents
(whether end-users or "average programmers") will need to go back to the
XML Names specification to understand them. 

> RDF is full of
> 'em.  And if nothing else, old-fashioned document wrangling is, I
> predict, going to be dipping regularly into namespaces like, for
> example, HTML.

The average HTML user is not going to go to the namespaces specification
any more than they went to the SGML specification. Nor should they.

> Which is why it really is a problem that something that we tried so
> hard to make simple is being perceived (rightly or wrongly) as
> complex and intimidating. -Tim

Namespaces are intimidating for exactly the same reason that things like
XLink and architectural forms are intimidating. Namespaces are abstract.
But when you apply them to a spec, like Office 2000, or HTML, they become
simple to understand. In a particular context, they are simple.

That's why "average developers" should sit back and wait for the context
to develop.

 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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