This page outlines a disputed inconsistency that the Microformat's community has had for a number of years. Namely, in the way the community defines "namespace" and the position it takes against that definition of a namespace.
In June of 2007, while discussing what should be the name of a song, album or audio recording for hAudio, it was suggested that TITLE be re-used from hCard. This kicked off a debate about whether it would be appropriate to re-use TITLE because TITLE was previously defined in hCard as "job title". Manu pointed out that this was not the proper English definition for TITLE, would confuse authors, and inquired as to why TITLE was defined in such a constrained way. It was shown that TITLE re-used the definition of TITLE from the VCARD specification, and since TITLE had been set as such, re-defining it to become in-line with the English definition of TITLE would have ramifications on hCard implementations out in the field.
A suitable replacement for TITLE was discussed and, FN was adopted for hAudio.
Several months later, Martin McEvoy raised the issue again - that FN is not a suitable replacement for the title of an audio recording. Manu argued that TITLE should be brought in line with the English definition once again, and another argument about namespacing started on the microformats-new mailing list. This discussion revolved around an assertion that Manu was making about Microformat's having a stance against namespacing, but then turning around and inconsistently using "emulated namespaces" as a replacement when there was no other option but to namespace (such as in hAtom - "entry-title", "entry-summary", "entry-description")
Manu asserted further that the community has an inconsistent stance on namespaces because the community's definition of namespacing was not standard. It deviated from the definition in the field of linguistics, programming language design, and mainstream computer science literature. To illustrate the point, it was shown what the standard definition of 'namespace' is using a number of text books on the subject.
Manu is currently challenging the vague and inconsistent definition of namespace that is being used in the Microformats community and is asking for further refinement on the types of namespaces that are and are not allowed in the Microformats community.
Danny Ayers resolves pretty much all of the above regarding "namespaces" in his email:
This resolution is being contested by Manu since none of the namespaces pages were updated as a result of the discussion. ManuSporny 19:45, 4 Feb 2008 (PST)
Here are the definitions that the namespace inconsistency deals with:
- A context is an enclosing structure that provides semantic meaning to the elements that it encloses.
- A scope is an enclosing context where values and expressions are associated. The term is interchangeable with context.
- A namespace is a named scope.
Here are excerpts from the definitions and links to further definitions supporting the arguments listed on this page.
The general definition of namespace is defined as:
...a namespace is an abstract container providing context for the items (names, or technical terms, or words) it holds and allowing disambiguation of items having the same name (residing in different namespaces)...
The Computer Science definition of namespace is:
A namespace is an abstract container or environment created to hold a logical grouping of unique identifiers (i.e., names). An identifier defined in a namespace is associated with that namespace. The same identifier can be independently defined in multiple namespaces. That is, the meaning associated with an identifier defined in one namespace may or may not have the same meaning as the same identifier defined in another namespace. Languages that support namespaces specify the rules that determine which namespace an identifier (i.e., not its definition) belongs.
The definition of scope is:
In computer programming, scope is an enclosing context where values and expressions are associated. Various programming languages have various types of scopes. The type of scope determines what kind of entities it can contain and how it affects them -- or semantics. Scopes can: * contain declarations or definitions of identifiers; * contain statements and/or expressions which define an executable algorithm or part thereof; * nest or be nested. A namespace is a scope that uses the enclosing nature of the scope to group logically related identifiers under a single identifier. Thus, scopes can affect the name resolution for their contents.
The general definition of context is:
Discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its interpretation.
Other References that support the common definition of namespace: