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Time Out From Behaviors

by Nate Zelnick Let's Not Go Screwing Things Up, Now... The DOM defines the standard interfaces between the document and the application and provides interfaces that allow that application to manipulate the document without having to know anything about it ahead of time. Defining this right the first time will save lots of headaches later. A good example of how not to do this is in HTML. The lack of a commonly supported DOM in Navigator and Internet Explorer is one of the reasons why it is so hard to write fully-functional HTML pages with fancy scripting tricks that work everywhere. Clearly, getting the XML DOM right before there's a ton of applications consuming XML is more important than getting a specification out the door fast. Otherwise, developers are going to have to spend a lot of time redoing their work. But that also means that lots of people have lots of opinions about how this should work. Reaching consensus--the essence of the standards process--takes time. Another controversial area is namespaces. One of the problems with XML derives from its strength: The ability to assign named structures to parts of a document. But since names can be assigned arbitrarily, how do you avoid collision between two tags that have the same name?


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