RE: Why make namespaces so complicated?
Understand all these things about public IDs, the point I was trying to make is that at the end of the day both a public ID and a URI are Just A String. URIs can be resolved by indirection just as well as public IDs and public IDs can contain essentially meaningless rubbish. Yes, they can carry some very useful registered information, but (correct me if I'm wrong) that's only really meaningful if you have an ISO registration code of some kind. I am no great authority, but by carrying things like Owner, Class, Version and Language, suddenly they are not really Just A Name anymore, so I can see the "information" conveyed by a public id also going stale. What do I do when I get a document with a public ID whose owner has gone out of business? I can't see it being any more useful to me than a dead URL link.
The advantage of URLs, as a particular subset of URIs, is that they have the flexibility to be "self-resolving" as a default behaviour, which is surely quite handy in some circumstances. They don't have to be used on the internet, either.
The big advantage of public IDs is that you simply can't do much with them without a resolving mechanism (implicit or explicit), which forces people to think about it a little more. This is surely not a Bad Thing.
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