tricky XHTML 1.0 namespace question

David Megginson david at
Tue Jan 18 20:18:18 GMT 2000

ht at (Henry S. Thompson) writes:

> I guess my problem here is that asking XHTML to say they _don't_ do
> this falls into the category of what the technical writer who taught
> me technical writing called the Spurious Negative.  In general, he
> said, avoid statements like "Relay 12 does not energise at this
> point."

Not really -- if there's a reasonable possibility of confusion, a good 
technical writer should be as explicit as necessary.

> RDF arguably made a mistake.  Not a standards error, just a tactical
> mistake.  I don't think that means that every XML aplication from here 
> to eternity needs to say "Oh, by the way, we didn't make the confusing 
> mistake that RDF did."

It's hard to see how or whether they should have done it otherwise.
It's certainly necessary in RDF to have

  <foo:MyClass rdf:about="xxx">

I suppose that they could have banned

  <rdf:Description about="xxx">

We'll see how general usage pans out.  While we were designing the
spec, many (most?) WG members agreed that the RDF usage would be the
common case, but they wanted to allow for the alternative just in case
someone needed it.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

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