Another look at namespaces

Rick Jelliffe ricko at
Thu Sep 16 21:03:44 BST 1999

 From: Ann Navarro <ann at> 

>At 02:17 AM 9/17/99 +0800, Rick Jelliffe wrote:
>>that does
>>not mean we are accusing the HTML WG of being a conspiracy.
>No, but you're basically suggesting that we're thick. 
Come on, stop making this into some personal thing.  I said
" It seems clear that the HTML team have some mental concept of
namespaces which exists independently of  what the W3C specification 
actually allows".  Perhaps this concept is an improvement; but
don't expect anyone to swallow a major, last minute, unexpected
use of namespaces that goes against all the discussions at the time
and against all public statements since that time.  

There still has been no justification for it: TB-Ls comment that
HTML has three DTDs so should have three namespaces puts
the cart before the horse; Andrew Layman's comment that there
are definitional schemas and that these set namespaces is undebated
and can be proved wrong by the simple example of RDF, which
defines a namespace but allows major parts of schemas undefined,
notably the GIs (element type names) of second and third tier
elements. So if RDF is a legitimate use of namespaces, and if
namespaces come from definitional schemas, then the definitional
schema does not need to include a specific content model: if can
be extended and refined willy nilly. Following this line, the only
thing in a schema left ultimately is a list of names.  However, it
is quite possible for someone to make a list of names, and use some
in one DTD and others in another DTD, with no mixing. This
is a legitimate use of namespaces in the current spec; again,
it shows that there is no nessecary connection between a "definitional
schema" and a namespace, unless the definitional schema is a
simple list of names (in some format TBA).

Rick Jelliffe

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