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Re: XML namespaces and RDF

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 13:39:27 +0000
Message-ID: <476A708F.8060707@danbri.org>
To: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hpl.hp.com>
CC: Max Voelkel <voelkel@fzi.de>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, Michael Rys <mrys@microsoft.com>

Jeremy Carroll wrote:
> Dan Brickley wrote:
>> Dan Brickley wrote:
>>> I'm afraid you're mistaken; we were amongst its first customers. This 
>>> is documented  even from the days before XML itself was finalised 
>>> (although I've just failed to find the relevant links). There was in 
>>> fact a big fuss about this about ten years ago, within W3C: XML 
>>> didn't get frozen before it was clear that the basics were in place 
>>> to build a namespaces mechanism (the full spec for which came later), 
>>> for specs such as RDF to build upon.
>>
> 
> ...
> [1]
>> which cites http://www.w3.org/Member/Meeting/98JanAC/xml-req.html
> 
> Fascinating.
> 
> But the PR that [1] argues against, went on to become the XML Rec, and 
> according to the many signatories of [1], the extensibility mechanisms 
> were inadequate, and XML did, in fact, get frozen.
 >
> I can believe a version of the past in which the XML 1.1 mentioned in 
> that doc morphed into XML Namespaces, ... but it doesn't achieve the 
> extensibility requirements set out in [1].

There was some form of Namespaces document in progress at the time; I 
think (I was only an RDFS WG bystander) what happened was that XML got 
to REC through an agreement to get the Namespaces doc done separately, 
and through checks that the core of XML was sufficient to allow a 
subsequent Namespaces spec to meet RDF's main needs. W3C Members can see 
some of that dialog here: 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Member/w3c-xml-wg/1998Jan/0220.html
which cites a WG-internal "work in progress" draft, based on use of XML 
processing instructions, rather than attributes (again I presume this 
Members-only) from oct 97, 
http://www.w3.org/XML/Group/9710/Note-xml-names-971015.html

All this exploded again of course in May/June 2000; this time publically 
archived, see http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xml-uri/

Those wishing to poke at this problem space again should look with 
terror upon the number of messages that were generated:

June 2000	by thread	by author	by subject	924
May 2000	by thread	by author	by subject	806

See http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xml-uri/2000May/0000.html from 
TimBL which kickstarted that mail avalanche. I think what triggered the 
discussion was the "what happens if you put a relative URI reference in 
your xmlns: declaration" corner case. Lost in the depths of all that is 
this old TimBL-plays-Hofstadter gem, 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xml-uri/2000May/0316.html

(excerpt)
  Tortoise: Irony heaped on Irony!  The Library is for books.  That you 
should abuse it so!  A dictionary is not a book.  It is a metabook.
  Achilles: What? Of course it is  book!

See also recent TAGgery on whether RDF graphs are information resources 
[2]...

cheers,

Dan


> [1]
> http://www.w3.org/Member/Meeting/98JanAC/xml-req.html
> (member only)

[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2007Dec/ (public link, 
as are most post-2001 RDF discussions, thankfully :)
Received on Thursday, 20 December 2007 13:39:41 GMT

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