why distinctions within XHTML?

David Megginson david at megginson.com
Thu Sep 2 15:11:17 BST 1999

Hunter, David writes:

 > I understand the reasoning behind the XHTML group wanting three
 > versions, to mirror the three versions of HTML 4.  But I would like
 > them to start, from the very beginning, to treat XHTML as various
 > parts (modules) of *one vocabulary*.  A vocabulary that could be
 > identified by a single namespace, so that in the future, when
 > integration of XHTML and other XML vocabularies is possible, it
 > will also be easy to identify the XHTML pieces, so that they can be
 > processed by our XHTML applications.

I agree.  In fact my argument is that a Namespace URI should be like a
domain name -- it is the persistent, public face of a vocabulary.

Microsoft might restructure their Web site tomorrow, but they'll
probably still keep the microsoft.com domain name so that people can
find the new site. Imagine if you had to choose between the following:


And then, after the redesign






Microsoft can change their IP address and their internal structure as
ofter as they like, but it's hard for people to find them if they
change their domain name.  Likewise, XHTML can change its
DTDs/schemas, but will be very hard for deployed software to recognize
XHTML if it keeps changing its Namespace URI.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at megginson.com

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