[whatwg] clear naming for WHAT work

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Tue Aug 17 15:53:07 PDT 2004

On Mon, 19 Jul 2004, Dean Jackson wrote:
> If you don't make your own namespace, then you might as well have no 
> namespaces.

That would be ideal. Unfortunately it would make it impossible to embed 
our language into SVG (e.g.).

> You have the root tag (<html>), what else do you need? (I also think 
> namespaces are not so friendly for authors, but I'd like to see some way 
> to know if my content is W3C+WHAT HTML, W3C HTML or W3C+WHO HTML).

It's easy. If your content contains stuff that isn't valid W3C HTML, but 
is conformant WHATWG HTML, then it's the first, etc.

> I'm suggesting you prefix all your new HTML elements with "what:". As 
> Tim said, Microsoft have done this without problem in IE for 5 years.

To what level of success?

The features in IE that don't use namespaces -- <marquee> comes to mind -- 
enjoy such a high level of use that they have been implemented 
interoperably in four seperate UAs now, implementations that were forced 
because content was unreadable in those UAs without adding support for 
those IE extensions. The features in IE that _do_ use namespaces -- VML, 
for instance -- are virtually unseen on the Web.

There are many examples of this kind of thing. Ask Micah Dubinko about the 
questions he gets about XForms now that he has written an XForms book -- I 
believe the numbers he gave were that 80% of the questions he receives are 
about namespaces.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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