RE: Uncle Dave ponders the meaning of namespaces

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From: Dan Brickley (
Date: Fri Aug 11 2000 - 10:10:45 PDT

On Fri, 11 Aug 2000, S. Mike Dierken wrote:

> > If this survey is accurate, the 'simplicity' argument against namespaces
> > needs to be reconsidered. Any XML-based application will be implemented
> > badly if the Perl-hackers concerned don't understand XML.
> By "don't understand", do you mean Perl programmers:
> - re-implementing one-off parsers for XML syntax & having bugs
> - using an existing Perl XML parser module incorrectly
> - outputting poorly formed XML, due to not understanding the syntax?

All of these and then some. Not to pick specifically on Perl
programmers - XSLT authors might make similar mistakes.

Specifically w.r.t. the RSS implementation survey results,
the latter two concerns. Not understanding where HTML content can be
poured can happen with either Perl print() calls or
pre-existing XML tools. Failing to escape ampersands, anticipate
internationalised content, you name it. By "don't understand" all I mean
is that core XML, without schemas, xlinks, namespaces, whatever, does
itself have plenty of subtle corners that you can't infer if you learn
(as most of us do) to hack it by copying example snippets. Not the end
of the world, but something to bear in mind when appealing to
simplicity: we have empirical evidence that RSS, simple though it is,
is not being implemented as an XML application in a fair % of systems.


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