"Clean Specs"

Tyler Baker tyler at infinet.com
Mon Feb 8 07:57:56 GMT 1999

Tim Bray wrote:

> At 01:24 AM 2/8/99 -0500, Tyler Baker wrote:
> >Well who is the best judge then?  I thought that standards bodies were largely in existence to
> >promote concensus on matters which companies and organizations disagree upon.  Rather than
> >bring everyone together, this entire "Namespaces in XML" recommendation has splintered the
> >entire XML community.
> Uh, just for the record, Namespaces, like any other W3C recommendation,
> has been through a *long* formal process with many public drafts, and a
> final poll of the membership.  Yes, there are those who disagree, but

This is interesting.  Namespaces in XML went from being a proposal with the PI based approach, to a
draft, and then to a recommendation.  There was only one draft in the period between proposal and
recommendation.  This I find puzzling compared to the revisions I saw taking place with XML back in
the November of 1997.

> this is true of virtually every recommendation; there were those who
> wanted to send XML 1.0 back for more work - same with every other
> significant W3C product.  Consensus in the pure form is never achieved
> in any standards organization.  Operationally, the closest you can
> get is a determination that all substantive objections have been
> thoroughly listened-to, and a finding that an overwhelming majority
> of the community wants to move forward.

This is very true.  However, it is hard to believe that the great majority of people on the
"Namespaces in XML" WG could have views which are in fundamental disagreement.  Since votes on
these matters are apparently secret, I guess people like me will never know.  Moreover, we will
never know who is ultimately accountable for these decisions.  It is as if the W3C is this
omnipotent force that feels they do not need to answer to the developer community at large because
the are not accountable.

> >I am a forgiving person
> It doesn't particularly show.

I am still here actively using XML and discussing XML issues.  If I was truly not forgiving I would
not waste any more time discussing these sort of issues that the W3C has brought to our attention.
I and other developers, XML users, and those considering using XML in their data-processing
infrastructure who constribute to this list do so freely.  We don't charge the W3C for our
consultation (well I guess some of the people here do) so our comments should be taken
objectively.  This entire business about us developers making some comments and then hoping that
the W3C takes them into consideration is a rather feudal concept if you ask me.

> >They are the
> >real "silent majority" that the W3C seems to have complete disdain for.
> Well, the Mozilla, perl, Internet Explorer, Oracle, and IBM XML offerings
> already include namespace support.  The majority is awfully silent I
> guess.
>  -Tim

That is not the point.  These products may support them (some of them I can say support them in
rather useless ways as far as the application developer should be concerned), but the real issue
here is whether or not "Namespaces in XML" nicely complements XML or else has an overall negative
effect on XML's goals.  My opinion is of the latter, hence my opposition to the "Namespaces in XML"
recommendation and its inclusion in any other W3C specs or related internet standards such as CORBA
(yah I have already stated that I personally don't care much about CORBA these days, so I am only
using CORBA as an example).


xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at ic.ac.uk
Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at ic.ac.uk the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at ic.ac.uk)

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list