W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-uri@w3.org > July 2000

Re: Latest XLink Candidate Recommendation

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Sat, 08 Jul 2000 08:31:39 -0400
Message-Id: <200007081229.IAA11964@hesketh.net>
To: xml-uri@w3.org
At 06:13 PM 7/7/00 +0200, Eric van der Vlist wrote:
>If I bring it here, it's because I wonder if the answer shouldn't be
>coherent with the one which is given to the namespaces URIs and that
>this forum has already worked a lot on a similar subject.
>IMHO, it would be preferable to keep them consistent (the concepts would
>be easier to explain to XML users and to implement in XML tools).

I agree that keeping them consistent would be easiest, but I'm not sure the
solution to the namespaces problem that's moving ahead actually provides an
answer that's appropriate to XLink.

Once again, we're using URIs to identify semantics.  In the XLink case,
however, it seems like processors likely should have access to
absolutization algorithms, though that process isn't specified.  It seems
like this recent move is an attempt to align XLink with RDF, where
absolutization appears to be the common understanding.  (Retrieval of some
unidentified document may be an excuse to push that interpretation.)

On the other hand, it seems worthwhile to consider relative URIs as
something other than 'shortcuts' - as representing claims that the
description provided is purely local, without global context.  Since
they're being used for semantics, I think that approach may well make sense.

This "URI reference identifies some resource that describes the intended
property" seems like yet another leap off the cliff, providing
underspecified functionality that leaves us all pointing to various random
junk that may or may not be useful for processing.

While it may be a useful bridge to RDF, I'd tend to suggest that people
avoid using role and arcrole entirely until these issues (including what
lives at that URI) are resolved, and stick to the weaker label, which
carries no such luggage.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books
Received on Saturday, 8 July 2000 08:29:04 UTC

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