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Re: CURIEs: A proposal

From: Mark Birbeck <mark.birbeck@x-port.net>
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2006 11:10:43 +0100
Message-ID: <640dd5060606090310u2433d636vd283b3c28283d656@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-tag@w3.org, public-rdf-in-xhtml-tf@w3.org, newsml-2@yahoogroups.com

HI Henry,

> My initial reaction is similar to Stuart's -- there's a lot to agree
> with here, but
>  1) I think we do better to keep QNames (shorthand for an *expanded
>     name* which is a pair of an absolute IRI and an NMTOKEN local
>     name) and CURIEs (shorthand for an IRI) clearly distinguished
>     conceptually;

Great...I've constantly tried to emphasise that my first motivation is
to 'unpollute' QNames. The syntax is secondary--it's the fact that
QNames represent XML elements and attributes, and yet have been used
in numerous places as a shorthand for URIs, that I object to.

(I'm not the first to have objected, of course! People involved in
early RDF work were also aware that using QNames for predicates was
dodgy, but they reluctantly went ahead in the absence of an

>  2) We think seriously about an alternative to the ':' as the
>     separator for CURIEs.

Firstly, I think that horse has bolted. The ':' is used in all sorts
of places to indicate scoping, not just QNames, precisely because it
feels so natural. It's used in URN values, in IPTC subject codes, and
so on.

Secondly, and more importantly, I'm proposing that many current uses
of QNames should actually be CURIEs, and we therefore need to ensure
backwards compatibiliy. For example, in your own work, Henry, XML
Schemas should not be using QNames to identify datatypes for use in
other langauges, or to name simple and complex types in schema
definitions. Equally, XPath functions should not be declared using

...I could go on. :)

So for backwards-compatibility reasons, I think it is a good thing if
documents don't need to be changed.



Mark Birbeck
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Received on Friday, 9 June 2006 10:10:50 UTC

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