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RE: TB16 Re: Comments on arch doc draft

From: Joshua Allen <joshuaa@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2002 00:00:26 -0700
Message-ID: <4F4182C71C1FDD4BA0937A7EB7B8B4C105BA21BA@red-msg-08.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Tim Bray" <tbray@textuality.com>, <www-tag@w3.org>

It is the old "You can't dereference a car" debate.  If we say that the
namespace name is the URI for the namespace, it can't also be the URI
for the web page.  Because then how would you know what a particular
assertion was talking about?

For example, the assertion 
"http://www.soapware.org/ns/foo dc:creator joe@blogs.com"

Are we saying that Joe created the namespace, or the web page?  Which is
it?

A URI is supposed to be an identifier, and if we say that a URI is the
identifier for any arbitrary number of things, we sabotage the entire
purpose of URIs.  One of the main arguments against the use of http:
URLs is that this causes confusion and overloads the concept of
identity.  If it is OK to say that an http URL can simultaneously
identify a namespace and a web page, what's to stop someone from saying
that the same URL is also a car and a butterfly?

However, there is a way to allow URLs as namespace names without causing
chaos with the web's foundation in identity.  IMO, it is described
nicely in:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2002Apr/0159.html

Basically, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the http: URL
and the namespace, so the URL can stand-in for the namespace.  Now just
make it clear in the docs that this is what is going on, and people will
not be so tempted to abuse URIs in other contexts.  Problem solved...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tim Bray [mailto:tbray@textuality.com]
> Sent: Monday, July 01, 2002 10:21 PM
> To: www-tag@w3.org
> 
> 
> Joshua Allen wrote:
> > This seems fine to me.  But for God's sake let's make sure any
guidance
> > on this makes it very clear that this is a namespace *name*, and
> > although it may function as a stand-in for the namespace URI, it is
> > *not* the URI.
> 
> Er, please try again.  I don't understand the above. -Tim
Received on Tuesday, 2 July 2002 03:00:58 GMT

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