W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > June 2001

RE: Namespaces and URIs

From: Lee Jonas <lee.jonas@cakehouse.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 8 Jun 2001 15:10:20 +0100
Message-ID: <51ED29F31E20D411AAFD00105A4CD7A7713D@ZINGIBER>
To: "'Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN'" <champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN [mailto:champin@bat710.univ-lyon1.fr] wrote:
>
>I'm wondering if we are not deeply misleading with the Namespace URI
>debate...
>
>According to [XMLNS], the *namespace name* has to be unique and
>persistent, period. Then (and ONLY then) they suggest the use of URNs,
>or possibly any URI. As a matter of fact, URIs are a (supposedly)
>efficient and easy way to guarantee uniqueness and persistence.
>
>Uniqueness and persistance allow the namespace name to *identify* the
>namespace. But that does not mean that it has to be the URI of the
>namespace. Indeed, it does not have to be a URI *at all* !
>

Which XML namepaces spec are you reading?

An excerpt from section 1:

[[
[Definition:] An XML namespace is a collection of names, identified by a URI
reference [RFC2396], which are used in XML documents as element types and
attribute names. 
]]

Rewording slightly: "A namespace is a collection of element types and
attribute names.  It is identfied by a URI reference."  The problem RDF
faces (and other XML specs to a lesser degree) is that it takes the URI
reference for the namespace and attempts to derive URI references for its
constituent names from it.

IMHO, RDF's namespaceURI+localpart issue would be resolved by adopting a
'Fixed Schema' syntax, rather than the 'Schema follows data' syntax it
currently has (see [1]).  There would no longer be any need to convert
namespaceURI+localpart into a URI reference.  Job done.

This is unlikely to happen in the near future.  Although there is some hope
offered by the RDF Core WG charter:

The RDF Core WG charter [2] states that they do not have a mandate to come
up with a completely new syntax, but indicates that a new, generic,
data-graph syntax suitable for representing RDF (amongst others) will emerge
from the XProtocol WG.  It seems to me that their task is to tidy up the
model and *prepare the way* for representing RDF in this new syntax.

I would be interested to hear if the two groups have been in contact and
what interaction may be expected.  The RDF Core WG needs to fight from the
RDF corner where the XProtocol charter for creating this new syntax is
concerned.

I would like to know what steps have been / will be taken by RDF Core WG in
this matter.

regards

Lee

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2001Apr/0346.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/RDFCoreWGCharter

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Received on Friday, 8 June 2001 10:10:32 GMT

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