XML Base (RE: Article: Keeping pace with James Clark)
Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote: > Only xml:base could arguably > be claimed to be at the semantic level, and even that is less > semantic than xml:lang. I think it's time to take a long hard look at XML Base and question whether this spec: a) is useful b) is necessary c) belongs in the "XML Core" On (a), I think XML Base is useful for people too lazy to type complete URIs. Why exactly those people are typing their XML directly (i.e. there's no app to fill in their URIs for them) when they're that lazy is beyond me. For these people XML Base ensures that they don't have to worry about moving documents from point A to point B and having all the links break. They can also save a few bytes of redundant information, though again why they'd be concerned about that when they're using XML is beyond me. On (b), I think the answer is quite plainly NO. XML Base is never necessary. You can always type out URIs, and you can even do a search-and-replace if necessary. On (c), I think we have some enormous problems. XML Base by itself provides a base URI, but it's up to the application to figure out how to use that information. The XML Infoset prescribes no particular handling for this information or combination with URIs, and the XML Base specification itself states that: -------------------------------------- The deployment of XML Base is through normative reference by new specifications, for example XLink and the XML Infoset. Applications and specifications built upon these new technologies will natively support XML Base. The behavior of xml:base attributes in applications based on specifications that do not have direct or indirect normative reference to XML Base is undefined. -------------------------------------- The Infoset has some fine language about "computed according to [XML Base]", but it's hardly clear how this metadata is to be applied - or represented, in the case of document fragmentation, for instance. It would be nice to keep such frivolous bits out of the XML Core, I think. -- Simon St.Laurent Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets Errors, errors, all fall down! http://simonstl.com
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