Re: Namespaces are Simply Punctuation (was Re: [namespaceDocument-8] What should a "namespace document" look like?)

On 2002-02-06 19:56, "ext Bill de hÓra" <> wrote:

>> From: Thomas B. Passin []
>>> [Patrick Stickler
>>> namespace == punctuation
>>>   A namespace is nothing more than punctuation. It prevents
>>>   local names from colliding in a context of global syndication
>>>   of names.
>>>   One cannot presume nor assert that a namespace denotes anything;
>>>   not a vocabulary, not a doctype, not a web resource. Once used
>>>   as a namespace, that URI ceases to have interpretation as a URI.
>> At last!  This comes up on other lists, too, it's not just
>> RDF.  Let's hope that everyone else finally sees the light,
>> too.  Nicely expressed, Patrick.
> So long as it's recognised that for practical purposes, namespaces
> direct behaviour. Once used as a namespace, that URI begins to have an
> interpretation as an argument to a decision made in code.
> Bill de hÓra

The very point is that a namespace should *not* direct behavior
in and of itself. The 1:1 correspondence between namespace
and vocabulary or namespace and doctype or namespace and
some web resource is not a part of the Web architecture. It
may be a common misconception about the Web architecture,
but it is not thus defined.

Software may not expect to rely on any such 1:1 correspondences.

If they do, and it works, fine, but it remains a hack, and
good system engineering is not based on hacks.




Patrick Stickler              Phone: +358 50 483 9453
Senior Research Scientist     Fax:   +358 7180 35409
Nokia Research Center         Email:

Received on Wednesday, 6 February 2002 14:08:34 UTC