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Re: Vocabulary Combination and optional namespaces

Joe Gregorio wrote:

> Tim Bray wrote:
> > Arjun Ray wrote:
> >
> >> We have it from unimpeachable authority that the Namespace mechanism
> >> isn't
> >> really for "vocabulary combination" (even though the "Motivation"
> >> of the spec would seem to suggest that it might be).  Thus in
> >>
> >>  http://www.xml.com/pub/a/1999/01/namespaces.html
> >>
> >> it is written: "The only reason namespaces exist, once again, is to
> >> elements and attributes programmer-friendly names that will be unique
> >> across the whole Internet."
> >
> >
> > Don't be silly.  Why would you want names that are unique on a wide
> > scale if you weren't going to be combining vocabularies?

I certainly agree that namespaces are useful when combining vocabularies but
want to point out that namespaces are also useful for standalone
vocabularies. For example RDDL allows a programmer to discover information
about a vocabulary even when a document contains a single vocabulary.

> >
> This brings up something I have run into several times in recent months,
> is, the idea of an "optional namespace" when defining a vocabulary. The
> basic idea being that if the document is going to stand alone then no
> namespace qualification is needed. If it is going to be combined or
> in other vocablaries then the namespace is applied. ....

That seems just too complicated, particularly for software that is designed
to process the vocabular as either standalone or embedded. That concept has
been tried and the code that I've written to deal with it is overly
complicated and hence more prone to error.

Namespaces link XML elements and attributes to the WWW, which in many, but
admittedly not all, cases is useful.



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