[whatwg] RDFa uses CURIEs, not QNames

Ben Adida ben at adida.net
Fri Aug 29 08:59:55 PDT 2008

Elliotte Harold wrote:
> In my experience, that level of indirection is a disaster. It is the
> single most problematic part of XML as practiced. It destroyed XPointer.
>   It takes what should be a simple, atomic value and makes it context
> dependent. 

That's not the same thing at all.

XML Namespaces may have been added in a way that didn't play well with
the dozens of other pre-existing XML technologies. That doesn't mean the
*concept* of namespacing and indirection are wrong.

> I'm surprised you want to reinvent that particular mistake.

Maybe because you're looking at the wrong context.

We're not dealing with an existing technology that is going to be made
somehow incompatible because of CURIE support. None of the existing HTML
tools will have to change (they already ignore attributes they don't
know, given that, e.g., a number of JavaScript libraries use their own
attributes). None of the HTML parsers will have to change. None of the
other specifications will have to change one iota.

The changes we're proposing are entirely self-contained.

So while the way in which namespaces were introduced in XML may have
been a mistake, I don't give much credit to the argument that
namespacing and indirection *in general* are mistakes. Quite the
contrary, they are crucial software design principles.

I'm surprised you've over-generalized from your bad XML experience.


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