david at megginson.com
Tue Sep 28 03:36:29 BST 1999
Marc.McDonald at Design-Intelligence.com writes:
> It seems amazing that it is difficult to grasp that namespaces and
> aqrchitectures have little in common:
> 1. Namespaces handle ambiguity: the same name means different
> things. <a> has more than one meaning hence <foo:a> and <bar:a>
> 2. Architectures handle synonyms: There are alternative names that
> mean the same <a> really means <b> under architecture B and <c>
> under architecture C.
> There's a big difference between ambiguity and aliasing.
I think that you're overstating the difference, especially since AFs
also provide disambiguation.
The difference is one of degree, not of kind: AFs allow you to
associate more than one universal name with a single markup item,
while Namespaces allow you to associate only one universal name with a
markup item. In other words
Namespaces: markup-item (0,*) <-> name (0,1)
Architectural Forms: markup-item (0,*) <-> name (0,*)
Unfortunately, AFs came out with three strikes against them: they were
developed by ISO (yawn!), they were introduced as an appendix to the
very long and intense HyTime spec (awk!), and they weren't very webby
(oops!). They also hit a foul with their convoluted mechanism for
I agree with Eliot Kimber and others, though, that eventually XML will
need something like AFs.
All the best,
David Megginson david at megginson.com
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