Solution proposal for versioning problem

Norbert Bollow nb at
Thu Jul 8 16:08:40 CEST 2010

Jirka Kosek <jirka at> wrote:

> I think that ideally such versioning should not be necessary -- if
> document format is evolved in a backward compatible way you don't need
> to know version information. You only need mechanism which will be
> triggered in the case of backward incompatible change in the semantic --
> this is namespace change in XML.

The fact is that backward incompatible changes, including the
particuluarly dangerous kind of change which changes semantics
without change of syntax, have occurred already, in the step
between ECMA-376 ed 1 and ISO/IEC 29500:2008 Transitional.

Adopting the convention that the year number in the namespace
will be updated whenever a backward incompatible change occurs
would be an acceptable solution for me, but from what I
understood, it is not acceptable to everyone because it does
not avoid the risk that existing ECMA-376 ed 1 or
ISO/IEC 29500:2008 conformant applications might fail to load
new documents that have the namespace name change just because
of that.

My current proposal provides specification version information
while assuring existing ECMA-376 ed 1 or ISO/IEC 29500:2008
conformant applications which do not understand the proposed
versioning mechanism will not perform worse on existing documents
because of that.


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