RE: Uncle Dave ponders the meaning of namespaces

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From: Gavin Thomas Nicol (
Date: Fri Aug 11 2000 - 09:09:20 PDT

> Try a mental exercise. RDFize RSS. Add namespaces. Let the schema people
> have their way. What once was something that any HTML coder and Perl
> scripter could understand becomes a bookshelf of arcane specs and
> minutiae.

Beside the aesthetics, namespaces don't even serve their real purpose
(mamking things unique) anyway. They're tied to URI's, whose semanitics
will change over time.

Imagine that

  <doc xmlns:mg="">
    <mg:title>Hi there</mg:title>

was produced a few years ago when she didn't have the domain name. Have
the semantics now changed for this document?

Ultimately, the thing that interprets the XML decides it's meaning, just
as with any other language... as such, namespace intelligence typically
get's built into the application.

I've just been implementing a level 2 WEBDAV server (not fun in itself given
state of the RFC) and namespaces are a *real* pain to deal with well.

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