[jdom-interest] Re: Radical Suggestion (was Re: Antwort: RE: [jdom-interest] Namespace help)

Elliotte Rusty Harold elharo at metalab.unc.edu
Thu Jul 25 20:07:37 PDT 2002

At 10:43 AM -0700 7/25/02, Dennis Sosnoski wrote:

>If JDOM's goal is ease of use it seems like matching the 
>programmer's POV rather than the XML POV would be the right way to 

No. This is the ElectricXML fallacy. An API for processing XML should 
be as simple as it can be and no simpler! In particular, it cannot be 
simpler than XML itself is. Namespaces are confusing, but that is not 
our fault and not something we can fix in JDOM.

This whole thread made it obvious that the developer did not 
understand how namespaces worked in pure XML syntax, in  a plain text 
document, without JDOM anywhere in sight. That's not really his 
fault. Namespaces are a mess. However, since we need to faithfully 
model XML, we need to model that mess. If we can make it easier and 
remain faithful to the namespaces and XML specs, great; but we can't 
do anything that flies in the face of those specs. If a programmer 
has trouble with JDOM because they don't understand namespaces, 
better they encounter cognitive dissonance as quickly as possible so 
they'll fix the flaws in their understanding rather than have JDOM 
reinforce their mistaken ideas.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | elharo at metalab.unc.edu | Writer/Programmer |
|          XML in a  Nutshell, 2nd Edition (O'Reilly, 2002)          |
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