Re: [Json] Nudging the English-language vs. formalisms discussion forward

John Cowan <> Thu, 20 February 2014 14:53 UTC

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Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 09:52:49 -0500
From: John Cowan <>
To: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
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Subject: Re: [Json] Nudging the English-language vs. formalisms discussion forward
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Phillip Hallam-Baker scripsit:

> Interpreting those namespaces correctly requires a huge amount of
> complex logic that is completely unnecessary.

That is untrue (just to vary myself a bit).

> Since we had Eve Maler on the TC, I think we were doing the XML schema
> right the second time round...

Well, your snippet of an *instance* document contains a declaration of
the XSD *schema* namespace, which makes no sense whatever.  I don't know
who wrote that instance (which appears in Wikipedia and elsewhere), but
I doubt it was Eve.

> If XML Schema had been better designed the namespaces would never
> appear on the wire

Namespaces long predated XML Schema.

> Though since the post had no content other than 'oh no it isn't' the
> poster might have had a different idea.

My point was that you were defending an argument I consider to be
incorrect using claims that any XML Schema user (certainly including
Eve) would certainly know were false, but which the present audience
might not recognize as such.

I am not attacking JSON or defending XML Schema.  I'm attacking the
claim of "semantic-first" designs to be the obviously Right Thing.
Indeed, XML Schema itself is a magnificent example of just such a
semantics-first design, with the result that it is damned hard for
mere mortals to decipher actual schemas without tools.

John Cowan
'My young friend, if you do not now, immediately and instantly, pull
as hard as ever you can, it is my opinion that your acquaintance in the
large-pattern leather ulster' (and by this he meant the Crocodile) 'will
jerk you into yonder limpid stream before you can say Jack Robinson.'
        --the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake