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RE: Significant W3C Confusion over Namespace Meaning and Policy

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@ibiblio.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 15:51:17 -0500 (EST)
To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <len.bullard@intergraph.com>
Cc: "'ht@inf.ed.ac.uk'" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>, ext John Boyer <JBoyer@PureEdge.com>, www-tag@w3.org, derhoermi@gmx.net, paul.downey@bt.com
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.61.0502161541120.2163@tribal.metalab.unc.edu>

While I agree that Henry is technically correct (technically as in "read 
the specification"), this giant perma-thread clearly shows that there are 
simply problems in keeping track of versioning with namespaces. If a 
namespace can have an infinity of names, then perhaps this should be 
repaired in a new spec, since having an infinity of names makes versioning
difficult. Either one has a separate URI for each version, or a 
representation is returned by the URI that contains the versioning 
information. For example, the RDDL representation retrieved by 
http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace
clearly demarcates what version of XML is being used, as well as elements
(although no xml:id as of yet). Since a RDDL is both machine and 
human-readable (and there's even RDDL RDF), this would be a good mechanism
for keeping track of the actual finite number of name authorized by the
resource owner for use in the namespace. However, while RDDL is nice,
the W3C has yet to standardize it or some variant for this purpose.

This is awkward because in the AWWW it is noted that:

http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/REC-webarch-20041215/#representation-management
        "A URI owner may supply zero or more authoritative representations
  of the resource identified by that URI. There is a benefit to the
  community in providing representations.

        Good practice: Available representation
A URI owner SHOULD provide representations of the resource it identifies"

So, in summary, a URI owner may serve zero representations, but they 
should  server at least one. Personally, I think emphasis on "should" 
needs to be increased, and one way would to propose a standard
for versioning namespaces using RDDL or something like it. I don't
believe this has been done, and I'm not sure why - since it would be a
great boon to the community.

 				Cheers,
 					harry


  On Wed, 16 Feb 2005, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

>
> End of story?  Sure.  End of problem?  No.
> The versioning saga goes on.
>
> len
>
>
> From: www-tag-request@w3.org [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of
> ht@inf.ed.ac.uk
>
> It follows that _as defined in the Namespace REC_ there are infinitely
> many names in every namespace.
>
> End of story.
>
>


 	Harry Halpin
 	Informatics, University of Edinburgh
         http://www.ibiblio.org/hhalpin
Received on Wednesday, 16 February 2005 20:51:19 GMT

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