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Re: Q to implementers: Resource identifiers - XML Names and/or (concatenated) URIs? (was RE: rdfs.isDefinedBy...)

From: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 11:47:03 +0300
To: <jeremy@jeremygray.ca>, "'Dave Beckett'" <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>
CC: RDF Interest <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B9264DB7.164D4%patrick.stickler@nokia.com>

On 2002-06-07 9:51, "ext Jeremy Gray" <jeremy@jeremygray.ca> wrote:
> ...I would suggest (among other things) ceasing
> use of the term "QName", especially in sentences like "QNames are just
> punctuation" :) one which I've seen tossed about a bit recently. In fact,
> even within the scope of serialization such a statement is disappointing at
> best, frightening at worst.

I'm responsible for pushing the "truth" that *namespace prefixes*
(not qnames) are punctuation, which they are.

Qnames are in direct competition with URIs as a global naming
scheme. XML is inherently incompatable with the Web architecture
in this regard. A QName is not a URI, and there is no formal
specification for how they might map to one another which is
standardized for all web applications (XML Schema folks, please
note that final qualification, eh? ;-)

The fact that a namespace prefix is a URI, and that URI *might*
resolve to something has nothing whatsoever to do with the functional
purpose of a namespace -- which is simply to serve as globally
unique and consistent punctuation for partitioning local names
into disjunct collections. Period. That's all namespaces do.

Others might force additional, non-standard functionality onto
namespaces, but that's both unsupported by the current
specifications as well as semantically sloppy, as it introduces
ambiguity by making the namespace prefix URI denote multiple

A QName bears semantics. A namespace prefix does not.

> Okay, raise your hand if I just offended you. :)

No offense here ;-)



Patrick Stickler              Phone: +358 50 483 9453
Senior Research Scientist     Fax:   +358 7180 35409
Nokia Research Center         Email: patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Received on Friday, 7 June 2002 04:43:00 UTC

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