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RE: RDDL and XML Schema instances are not valid representations of namespaces

From: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Sun, 2 Feb 2003 14:50:55 +0200
Message-ID: <A03E60B17132A84F9B4BB5EEDE57957B5FBAF9@trebe006.europe.nokia.com>
To: <erik.r.still@boeing.com>, <www-tag@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ext Still, Erik R [mailto:erik.r.still@boeing.com]
> Sent: 01 February, 2003 00:59
> To: www-tag@w3.org
> Subject: Re: RDDL and XML Schema instances are not valid 
> representations
> of namespaces
> Patrick,
> Having read several of your objections to thinking of RDDL 
> instances as representations of a namespace 
> (http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2003Jan/0412.html
> ), I have to say that I'm beginning to see your point - but 
> it seems that your objections are semantic/philosophical 
> rather than practical.
> Consider a language as an analogy.  There are many reference 
> items (e.g., dictionaries, thesauri, style guides, usage 
> rules) that define the parameters of a language.  And yet I 
> think that we can agree that even the collection of all of these 
> resources does not *represent* a language.  Perhaps, in a 
> similar way, all the resources pointed to by a RDDL file do 
> not *represent* a namespace.  So what?  Such resources do 
> represent vital information to namespace users, and what 
> I am trying to figure out is how to provide access to those 
> resources.  (Of course, we have a separate question regarding 
> stewardship of a namespace, and what resources should be 
> considered authoritative.)
> Please forgive me for not going back very far in the TAG 
> archives, but do you have an example of that which you suggest 
> ("What is required is a means to obtain such useful 
> information in terms of any URI in a manner that fits with intuitions 
> about resources and representations, rather than a hack that 
> is simply convenient but disregards such intuitions.")?
> Sincerely,
> 	- Erik
> Erik Still
> CENTRAL Registry
> Boeing Library Services


As I've stated several times before, and will repeat again, I am
all for making useful information available to users (human or
otherwise). But I am also for seeing consistency in the Web
and SW architecture, and I find that treating RDDL instances
as "representations" of XML Namespaces to be inconsistent with
(my possibly incorrect understanding of) what representations
are intended/expected to be.

If the concept of representation is so broad as to allow RDDL
instances, then I find it useless. If it is narrower than RDDL
instances, then I see a problem.

What I am looking for is (a) a more explicit definition of
what a representation is and can be, (b) some treatment of
bit-equal representations of specific digital resources, and
(c) a consistent and intuitive means of obtaining knowledge
about resources rather than representations of them.

Larry Masinter just pointed out the PROPFIND functionality
of WebDAV, which seems to go along way towards providing
for (c), and would allow one to obtain RDDL like knowledge
without having to treat it as a representation.

Issue (b) has yet to be addressed anywhere, that I've seen.



Patrick Stickler, Nokia/Finland, (+358 40) 801 9690, patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Received on Sunday, 2 February 2003 07:50:59 UTC

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