Abusing namespaces

Paul Prescod paul at prescod.net
Fri Sep 17 15:55:04 BST 1999

Ann Navarro wrote:
> I'm arguing that each flavor of XHTML is sufficiently different (idiom,
> dialect, what have you) that it deserves a different namespace.

Don't fall into this trap. Once we start quantifying differences based
on percentages of shared idioms we are into the land of voodoo

We have three grammars. According to Chomsky and "formal languages 201"
this means we have three languages. I'll be happy to discard Chomsky
(what has he done for me LATELY) if someone comes up with something

But I won't discard something I can implement in code in favor of "I
can't define a dialect but I know it when I see it." I can't code to
that and the scary thing is that Microsoft, Oracle and Netscape can't
either: so we are opening ourselves up to abuse. 

"ORAHTML is a *dialect* of HTML so it uses the same namespace. It
crashes our competitor's products but that's not our problem."

If the defining characteristic of HTML is a single finite grammar then
we are safe. When we finish a well-defined extensibility model, we can
allow extensibility.

 Paul Prescod

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