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A modest proposal (was Re: URIs harmful (was RE: Arti

arti proposal
On Sat, 2002-07-20 at 10:05, John Cowan wrote:
> Amelia A Lewis scripsit:
> > The namespaces rec specifically states that URI reference identity
> > requires character-by-character identity, and it appears that there has
> > been discussion within the TAG about the potential difficulties of doing
> > anything more complex.  There is clearly a great deal of complexity ...
> > but it gets easier and easier to challenge the claim that "this is a URI
> > reference" the further that the namespace string's semantic drifts from
> > the semantic of a URI.  A namespace name, in fact, is a thing that has
> > URI syntax.  Only.  It isn't a URI, or a URI reference, it is a
> > namespace name, which is defined to have URI syntax.
> I agree 100%, and I have been pressing for a rewording that says
> "A namespace name is a string that has the syntax of a URI reference."


Well ...

I propose that we offer an erratum to the Namespaces spec.  It's
simple.  Everywhere that it currently says "A namespace name is a URI
reference," insert the word "not."  "A namespace name is not a URI
reference."  Much more accurate.

One could then explain, in an appendix, something on the order of "A
namespace name is a universally unique identifier.  Rather than using an
algorithm that produces difficult-to-remember and difficult-to-type
strings of digits, this recommendation proposes that those creating
namespace names use the more familiar idiom of URI syntax, using domains
under their own control to ensure uniqueness administratively rather
than algorithmically.  P.S. The confusion that this will inevitably
cause to folks who think that if it looks like a URI, it must be a URI,
is *not* *our* *fault*.  Okay?"

But possibly this modest proposal may find no more adherents than the
original ....

Amelia A. Lewis       amyzing@t...      alicorn@m...
What's the end of a story?  When you begin telling it.
                -- Ursula K. Le Guin

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