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Re: Significant W3C Confusion over Namespace Meaning and Policy

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 05:40:42 -0500
Message-ID: <4215C62A.4040508@metalab.unc.edu>
To: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
CC: ext Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>, www-tag@w3.org

Patrick Stickler wrote:

> And if some application encountered a term grounded in
> the Docbook namespace (sans any indication of a particular
> version of the Docbook document model) and tried to
> find out how to interpret that term by dereferencing
> the namespace name URI, (presumably) getting a namespace
> document, that namespace document would not be able to
> tell the application how to properly interpret that term.
> The application might thus be aware of various options,
> but ultimately, it would have to guess.

It would not have to guess. It would have to decide. That's an important 
distinction. Guessing implies that there's one right answer. Deciding 
implies that there are multiple feasible answers, and it's up to the 
machine (or human) reading the document to choose the one that's most 
appropriate for its own needs, irrespective of the needs of the 
intentions of the document author.

> The same is true for a human reading the same namespace
> document.

Humans are smarter than machines, and can decide more easily, and with 
more context.

Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
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Received on Friday, 18 February 2005 10:40:45 UTC

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