The Peace Process: DOM and namespaces...

Tyler Baker tyler at
Thu Feb 11 06:50:42 GMT 1999

Tim Bray wrote:

> At 12:40 AM 2/11/99 -0500, Tyler Baker wrote:
> >Of course that is a framework I wrote about a year ago that works nicely and is far simpler
> >and more maintainable than "Namespaces in XML" and that idea took about 10 minutes and not an
> >entire year.
> We should all feel privileged to be favored with the presence of such
> greatness here on xml-dev.  We're unworthy. -T.

The point here is that dealing with namespaces seems to have all of the efficiency of a political
process and not that which is based upon sound technical judgements.  The fact that it took me a
short while to come up with a solution is because I did not go out of my way to come up with some
weird complex solution that only I and a few others could understand.

Tim you seem to act as if my comments about "Namespaces in XML" are directed at you.  This is not
the case.  I have very little idea of how decisions actually get made in the W3C (as do most
people) and am much more upset at the W3C's apparent unwillingness to become a more open
institution than anything specific to the "Namespaces in XML" issue.  "Namespaces in XML" is a
failure IMHO because of a broken process, not because there are not enough smart people at the W3C
(there are plenty of those if you look at the profiles of the people who work there).  All I know
is you are one of the editor's.  For all I know your real opinions on how "Namespaces in XML"
should of been crafted may be never really known as an editor in effect is supposed to be a
neutral party in any standards process.

I don't think developers should have to fork over $5,000 a year and $50,000 if you want a real
voice, just to participate in web standards.  Yah someone has to foot the bill, but I think the
W3C would collect a lot more money if it had a more reasonable membership cost for individuals.
Even then it might not matter as I have heard that when it comes down to it the $50,000 a year
members have a lot more weight than the $5,000 members.  Of course these are only rumors as the
W3C is pretty effective at keeping discussions as secret as the Star Chamber.

To date I have heard all sorts of cons for "Namespaces in XML" but none of the pros other than a
few hypothetical arguments where using the current "Namespaces in XML" recommendation might be
useful (the keyword is "might" not "is").  Perhaps there is little content to back up "Namespaces
in XML" on its technical merits, or else those who think it is a triumph for the W3C don't care
enough about it to actually present to us a good whitepaper on when it is appropriate to use
"Namespaces in XML".  The only exception I can think of is Jim and David (who I consider leaders
in this community in addition to yourself) have done everyone a great favor by taking the time to
explain in as real-world a way as possible what "Namespaces in XML" is.  Nevertheless, I have not
heard any clear argument for what "Namespaces in XML" should be used for.  Why should us
developers be forced to swallow an internet standard we don't agree with just to be interoperable
with an internet standard we do agree with.

On another note, your recent ad hominem attacks (including this one) that you are displaying only
hurt yourself here. All you are doing is attacking someone who despite your vitriol still have
enthusiastic respect for your work on the XML 1.0 recommendation.  Like your previous sarcasm
directed to me personally I will continue to ignore it as lowering myself to your current standard
of technical debate does not do anyone any good.  I must stress that I still have great respect
for you as a developer right now but my respect for you as a person I hate to admit is waning.  I
doubt you have any respect for me as a developer or as a person though from your comments, which I
consider unfortunate but it is something I can live with.

Last but not least, it is very difficult for me personally to justify to myself volunteering any
more of my time to these discussions if the so-called leaders take technical arguments personally
and then react by using the "ad hominem" approach to detract from defending the arguments in
debate.  This suggests to me that you know in your heart that "Namespaces in XML" is flawed and
the only way you can convince people it is not is to trash the critics of the "Namespaces in XML"
recommendation (this includes me as well as Murray Muloney and perhaps others).



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

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list