The Peace Process: DOM and namespaces...

Tim Bray tbray at
Wed Feb 10 23:04:56 GMT 1999

At 05:32 PM 2/10/99 -0500, Rick Ross wrote:

>This is definitely the problem, but the solution might then lie in not
>defining an intrinsic mismatch between the first official XSL spec and the
>existing XML 1.0 and DOM Level 1?

The problem won't go away.  The W3C specs are built in parallel
process by a bunch of different but overlapping groups of people.  A 
bit of thought shows that if everything was put on hold until 
everything else was finished, you get dead-lock, there are
circular dependencies.  As a consequence, things lurch forward
without (so far) getting too far out of sync.  There will be a stable 
DOM spec that does namespaces some number of months after namespaces 
was frozen. This gap is unfortunate but not IMHO avoidable.

Now that I think about it, there is a good chance that there will
be a stable DOM level 2 *before* there's a stable XSL 1.0!  It's
hardly consistent to complain that unfinished-standard-A can't
be used because of the unfished state of standard-B, on which
it depends.

>As was mentioned on the list the other day, XML 1.0 doesn't support
>namespaces either - and it is abundantly clear that there is huge
>controversy within the community about the namespaces in XML recommendation.

I don't buy that.  There is tons of controversy on this mailing list.
All the leading implementers - I repeat, *all* the leading implementers -
in the world of XML have either already completed their namespace
implementation or will very soon.  (Hint: it's not hard.) 

>Perhaps it is simply too early to require namespace support in XSL at all?
>Perhaps, instead, the initial XSL spec should deliberately be designed to
>mesh well with the existing and prevailing implementations of XML and DOM.

That's a suggestion that is perfectly sane on the face of it; why
don't you make it formally to the XLS committee?

>DOM Level 2 is a Pandora's box

Really?  I didn't know that.


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