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Re: XPointers without requiring xmlns()

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 15:03:18 -0500
To: www-xml-linking-comments@w3.org
Message-ID: <r01050400-1022-19AAB2AC063111D78C300003937A08C2@[192.168.124.21]>

keith@woc.org (Keith W. Boone) writes:
>> Instead mandate that: "The initial namespace binding context prior
>> to evaluation of the first pointer part consists of at least a
>> single entry: the xml prefix bound to the namespace name
>> http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace.  Additional namespace bindings
>> may be configured in the initial context in an implementation
>> specified manner." That way, Simon's ugly example no longer requires
>> the "xmlns()" part given an XPointer implementation that supports
>> configuration of additional namespaces.  If someone wanted to use
>> his scheme in a fashion that would be compatible across a wider
>> variety of XPointer implementations, then they could still include
>> the xmlns() ugliness.  Since using xmlns() in the pointer would
>> automatically override any existing definition, there is no
>> "compatibility" issue.

That still bumps up against questions of URIs' independence from their
surrounding context.  While that independence is clearly not a
hard-and-fast rule (relative URIs and related catastrophes demonstrate
that), it does seem odd for fragment identifiers to be dependent on
context in a manner separate from the rest of the URI.

I'm well-aware that xmlns-local() does something similar, but at least
it does it explicitly, with both a clearly defined set of rules (not
just "at least") and a reminder in the XPointer itself.  Although I
wrote xmlns-local(), I'm not entirely sure it's a good idea.

>> This proposal eliminates the ugliness with a rather simple change to
>> the XPointer framework specification, leaving the standardization of
>> the implemention to some group that doesn't expire in the current
>> month, yet still provides for the same guarantees of uniqueness, to
>> the point of even retaining the use of namespaces.

I'm thoroughly unconvinced that the need for those namespaces has been
proven - at all.  We seem stuck with a solution whose costs are clear
and whose benefits are nonexistent.
-- 
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com -- http://monasticxml.org
Received on Monday, 2 December 2002 15:02:56 GMT

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