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RE: Significant W3C Confusion over Namespace Meaning and Policy

From: Dare Obasanjo <dareo@microsoft.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 13:16:19 -0800
Message-ID: <830178CE7378FC40BC6F1DDADCFDD1D1042857EA@RED-MSG-31.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "Patrick Stickler" <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>, "ext Norman Walsh" <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>
Cc: <www-tag@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org] 
> On Behalf Of Patrick Stickler
> Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 1:52 AM
> To: ext Norman Walsh
> Cc: www-tag@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Significant W3C Confusion over Namespace Meaning 
> and Policy 
>
> 
> Exactly. Applications need to operate in terms of 
> vocabularies, document models, ontologies, etc. not in terms 
> of namespaces.
> 
> There is the XSLT 1.0 vocabulary.
> 
> There is the XSLT 2.0 vocabulary.
> 
> Those two distinct vocabularies happen to share common terms; 
> but do not employ the exact same set of terms.
> 
> Those shared terms happen to be defined with the same namespace name.
> 
> The namespace name does not identify either vocabulary.

Then what does the namespace name identify? XML namespaces seem to grow
more and more useless by each passing day. 
 
> Applications are free to use either vocabulary, and any 
> differences in the set of terms employed by either vocabulary 
> should be irrelevant to a particular application using a 
> particular vocabulary, since the application is concerned 
> with the vocabulary -- and not the syntactic details of how 
> the identifiers for terms are constructed.
> 
> The confusion arises if/when folks presume that namespace = 
> vocabulary and/or namespace = document model and then 
> (understandably) worry about how applications are impacted 
> when new terms are minted using a particular namespace -- 
> presuming (wrongly) that doing so introduces those new terms 
> into an existing vocabulary. If the existing version of the 
> vocabulary does not include those terms, and the application 
> is clear which version of a vocabulary some data is presumed 
> to conform to, then it should simply not care about namespaces at all.

So how does one identify a vocabulary? Passing the buck by claiming that
XML namespaces do not identify vocabularies doesn't change the fact that
the problem exists. Going back to the root of this discussion
application scenarios broke when the W3C introduced xml:base and the
same will happen with the introduction of xml:id. What process will be
put into place to prevent this from happening in the future in across
the family of XML specifications produced by the W3C? 


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Received on Tuesday, 15 February 2005 21:16:25 GMT

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