CNET News.com: Developers split on proposed Web language standard

“Last month the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) proposed
Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML), turning it over to
the development community for a final review period, but since then
the process has lost some momentum. Developers have not been to
agree on a naming convention that orients Web browsers to their

“The W3C’s XHTML working group has proposed a trio of
namespaces for XHTML. But the working group’s critics think there
should be only one.”

“The current controversy arises over the practice of using Web
addresses, or URLs, as labels for separate namespaces. In other
words, a Web document would use a URL to tell the browser what kind
of XML it is reading and how to interpret its tags. Though URLs
traditionally point to a particular Web page, in the case of
namespaces they only differentiate one namespace from

“The W3C working group wants the namespace URL to do double duty
in identifying the namespace and pointing to a document that will
tell the browser how to read the page. … Namespace purists oppose
that move, in part because it will complicate the interpretation of
pages written in XHTML.”

“W3C representatives characterized the contentious debate over
XHTML namespaces as a normal part of the W3C review process. …
XHTML’s review period ends September 22. The W3C typically takes
two weeks to review comment before deciding whether to officially
recommend a proposal.”

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