RSS, XML, and Namespaces—oh my!

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Dave writes that the use of namespaces is fundamentally flawed because the hasty introduction of namespaces into RSS 2.0 generated problems with several aggregators:

If this is true, we can’t design using namespaces until:

1. All the parsers are fixed, or

2. Users/content providers expect and accept this kind of breakage (I don’t want to be the one delivering that bit of bad news, got burned not only by the users, but by developers too, people generally don’t know about this problem, or if they do know are not being responsible with the info).

Anyway it looks to me like there’s a big problem in the strategy of formats that intend to organize around namespaces.

Sam Ruby writes:

I therefore must change my opinion. Where I previously thought that RSS 2.0 suffered from a simple omission, now I must consider RSS 2.0 fundamentally busted.

My oh my oh my oh my.

Dave, saying that the problem you experienced with the hasty rollout of RSS 2.0 is because namespace implementation in XML is flawed, is about the same as me saying that MySQL and PHP aren’t working correctly on my system because the theories behind relational databases and web application script engines are fundamentally flawed.

Damn PHP and MySql for mucking up my system, anyway. Bad boys.

Update: I think Dave’s essay was deliberate bait. I think he was having fun with us when he wrote it: pulling our legs, yanking our chains, getting a rise out of our choleric reactions. Why, if he really believes in what he wrote, I’ll eat Jonathon’s hat.

Update Two: Lovely posting on this by I. M. Orchard. More fodder over at Ben’s. Now, ‘scuse me, I have to find work to do.

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