Why SAX needs namespace support

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Tue Jan 26 19:04:50 GMT 1999

david at megginson.com wrote:
> Tyler Baker writes:
>  > Yes your customers, but that is in the document world.
> Actually, the customers who like namespaces are the ones in the data
> world, especially those in industries that deal heavily with data
> exchange (like the news industry and e-commerce).  Document people
> don't care all that much yet -- they still have everything they need
> in SGML.

Namespaces only make sense in a world where you can more or less randomly
mix objects from different problem domains. That very seldom happens in
the document world. It would require some way to dynamically assemble
processing specifications (stylesheets). But the interaction between
stylesheet levels is way too complex for this sort of dynamically assembly
to be easy. We also know that dynamic assembly of schemas is quite tricky.
As far as I know, nobody is doing it yet. So the namespace mechanism
strikes me as premature considering that we don't have any infrastructure
to take advantage of it. 

Note that XSL takes advantage of namespaces in the stylesheet by merely
dispensing with a schema altogether. As far as I know, XSL has no facility
for dynamically assembling stylesheets *based on* namespaces.

RDF has a sufficiently simple "processing model" that it makes sense to
talk about combining data from various "namespaces" into a single RDF
model. But useful applications built on top of RDF (both of them) will not
(IMO) usually take advantage of the namespaces mechanism. For instance
Netscape's "What's Related" may be RDF-based (I can't remember) but it
probably does not support arbitrary namespaces.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

So what if one dark midnight less than a year from now, millions of 
computers around the world suddenly grind to a halt? My computer grinds 
to a halt several times a day. ... [Forget Y2K] We're ignoring a much 
bigger bug problem that's hiding, well, right under our noses. Call it 
the Y-Does-My-Computer-Crash-Three-Times-A-Day Problem.
	- http://www.upside.com/David_Futrelle/

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