[whatwg] The problems with namespaces in text/html (Was: MathML-in-HTML5)

Elliotte Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Sun Nov 5 04:12:44 PST 2006

Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> No, not without namespaces, just without the xmlns and QNames syntax.
> e.g. when <math> is encountered in text/html, it appears in the DOM as 
> <math xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML">

That's like saying you want to have biology but without all that yucky 
evolution silliness.

If you don't have xmnls and xmlns:prefix then there are no namespaces, 
period. I think some people have drunk too much Infoset Kool-aid. Walter 
Perry, I knew you were right, but I didn't know how right you were.

I don't care what appears in the DOM. My model is not the DOM. Most 
models are not the DOM.

All we have is the document's text. This is what must be defined. If 
there are no namespaces in the text, then there are no namespaces. The 
DOM is a transitory model used locally. It is not the document.

> We definitely don't want people thinking they can use any arbitrary 
> xmlns in HTML.  That's what XHTML is for.

I'm not sure why that bothers you. As long as things are well-formed, 
what's the harm? Existing browsers seem to deal OK and in a fairly 
well-defined way with content from arbitrary namespaces. (They ignore 
it.) I've taken advantage of this for years in my own Web pages.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Java I/O 2nd Edition Just Published!

More information about the whatwg mailing list