The Peace Process: DOM and namespaces...

Rob Schoening rschoening at
Thu Feb 11 00:20:58 GMT 1999

>Tim Bray wrote:
>It is not hard to support namespaces in an XML parser, but it is far harder
>to deal with them
>at the application level.  Just because all the tools support namespaces,
>does not mean that
>anyone is using them outside of a few niche applications.  Like another list
>member recently
>said "where is the content"?

Exactly.  The real problem here is that is is difficult to implement these
emerging specs in a consistent manner.  The consequence is that the
application level apps that are developed in the meantime are going to
jerry-rig support for namespaces.  By the time there is parity between DOM
and the parsers, application developers are going to have to back up and
retool.  In certain cases (I'm thinking of Microsoft in particular) that may
never happen.  Thus we end up with a set of badly fractured de-facto

This is what I meant when I suggested that XML risks becoming just another
file format.  If the application-level integration does not evolve with the
parser-level integration, the overall utility of the XML universe will be
greatly diminished.  We'll have a oh-so-elegant file format with
non-standard tools to use it in applications.  The irony is that that is the
hallmark of any proprietary file format.

The only way that I see that this can be avoided is some careful thought
placed on staging of the lifecycle of the XML collective. 


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