[whatwg] Possible compremise for namespaces in html5

Rob Ennals rob.ennals at gmail.com
Thu Nov 5 16:54:43 PST 2009

s/Ron Ennals/Rob Ennals/

I'm tired...


On Nov 5, 2009, at 4:50 PM, Rob Ennals <rob.ennals at gmail.com> wrote:

> [this is Ron Ennals from Intel, posting from gmail on my phone while  
> at tpac]
> I've talked to a few people about the distibuted extensibility  
> problem and I'd like to suggest a possible compremise:
> * maintain a central registry of prefixes with standard meanings -  
> so eg fb always means fbml. Thus no namespace decl is needed.
> * for a prefixed node the prefix is itself the namespace - thus the  
> user agent doesn't need to know what a prefix means
> * prefixes are allowed for tags and attributes
> * a web browser MUST ignore prefix tags and attributes - they are  
> for data, just like microdata and data attributes, not for browser  
> extensions
> I believe this satisfies the most important requirement for the  
> people who like namespaces and the people who don't. In particular:
> Reasons why namespaces etc are good:
> * allow data on a page without worrying about name clashes
> * copy and paste data from existing XML files into HTML
> * support markup like fbml, rails, etc - on the client as well as  
> server
> * allow companies to include their own XML data inside an HTML file,  
> for processing with other tools
> Reasons why namespaces are bad:
> * copy and paste breaks
> * the meaning of a tag depends on what namespaces you have
> * the encourage incompatible extentions to the browser
> * long namespace urls are horrible
> I've pitched this idea about a bit and got tentative buy in from  
> some (but not all) people on both sides of the namespace divide.
> This idea is unashamedly derived from Liam Quin's similar proposal,  
> tweaking the bits some people didn't like.
> Comments/bugs/stupidities... ???
> [I'll probably post this to public-HTML too later, but I can't do  
> that from gmail on my phone]
> -Rob

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