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Re: URI's in namespaces

  • From: "James Tauber" <jtauber@j...>
  • To: "Jeffrey E. Sussna" <jes@k...>, "'XML Dev'" <xml-dev@i...>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 12:20:29 +0800

problems with xml uri s
> If the namespace facility designers were adamant that a namespace
identifier
> doesn't necessarily point to any actual schema, then why did they use
URI's
> as namespace "targets". The whole notion of URI implies that there's
> something (i.e., the resource) out there. But a namespace is not
inherently
> a pointer (regardless of whether you can access the thing pointed to). Why
> not just make namespace targets ordinary XML names?

IMO, the problem is not with the namespace design of using URIs, but the
practice of using HTTP URLs. A few people, myself and Paul Prescod included,
have independently suggested a URL scheme just for naming.
It would take the same format as an HTTP URL so it would leverage off the
DNS, but its scheme would clearly indicate it is a name.

So a namespace for FOP stuff might be hname://xml.apache.org/fop/

Some have argued that there is no practical difference between a document
that describes the thing and the thing itself. I can buy this for things
like specifications (where the document doesn't just describe, but defines).
But for some things, like people, that are being assigned HTTP URLs for use
with RDF, I think you bump into problems if you also put a document at that
URL describing the thing. Why? Because assertions about the thing might not
hold for the document about the thing. The Dublin Core "Creator" for the
resource would probably be different depending on whether the resource was
the person or the document describing the person. So there is a need to
distinguish.

Of course, there is the whole "what the name of the song is called vs what
the song is called vs what name of the song is vs what the song is" :-)

James Tauber


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