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Re: [xml-dev] more QName madness

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 08:38:27 -0500
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Message-ID: <r01050400-1021-5B0DCFC4F7D611D69E4A0003937A08C2@[192.168.124.21]>

[blind-copied to xml-linking-comments to avoid cross-posting the entire
discussion.]

ht@cogsci.ed.ac.uk (Henry S. Thompson) writes:
><snip summary="useful summary of history"/>
>
><snip summary="anti-W3C hyperbole"/>
>
>The issue Simon is exercised about is user-defined XPointer scheme
>names.  The XPointer Framework PR spec. [1] mandates the use of QNames
>with prefixes (pf:sname) for non-W3C scheme names.
>
>The logic of this decision is as follows:  
>
>  1) schemes are going to be popular (Simon himself has already
>     defined several);
>  2) short scheme names are likely to collide;
>  3) collision is an interop nightmare;
>  4) scheme names therefore need to incorporate domain names in some 
>way;
>  5) we'll reuse the nsdecl/nsprefix design pattern.
>
>Constructive discussion on where the above logic falls down and/or how
>the above goals can be met in other ways will be welcome, here and/or
>to www-xml-linking-comments@w3.org.

3, 4, and 5 don't follow.

(3) is true, but it's also true of a wide variety of naming schemes.  In
the definition of URIs, there is already a tradition of registering
schemes rather than making them up, and the same applies to MIME media
types, MIME media features, and a wide range of other options.  I'd be
happy to participate in work on such a registration mechanism,
preferably at the IETF, where such things usually happen.

(4) is ONLY true if you believe there is a connection between domain
names and scheme types.  So far as I can tell, this connection is even
more tenuous than it was for namespaces, and the need for that level of
openness is questionable.

(5) produces results that are laughable except to the people who have to
use them.

The namespace approach avoids naming conflicts but does nothing to
encourage the creation of a community of schemes while making the syntax
quite thoroughly opaque.  The registration approach avoids naming
conflicts, encourages the creation of a community of schemes, and keeps
the syntax as readable as it is likely to be.

In any event, I don't believe this is a problem that the W3C needs to
solve in XPointer before the upcoming deadline.  

-------------
Simon St.Laurent - SSL is my TLA
http://simonstl.com may be my URI
http://monasticxml.org may be my ascetic URI
urn:oid:1.3.6.1.4.1.6320 is another possibility altogether
Received on Thursday, 14 November 2002 08:38:24 GMT

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