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Re: Near final draft of TAG finding on the Self-Describing Web

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 21:55:00 -0500
To: Mark Baker <mark@coactus.com>
Cc: connolly@w3.org, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFBC2F8561.D42A460E-ON85257546.000F9DD6-85257546.00100659@lotus.com>

Mark Baker writes:

> As I believe the two examples I offered demonstrated, at least 
> indirectly, one cannot assume that a rddl:resource element 
> inside any XML content declares a RDDL resource.  Yes, the 
> element exists in the DOM, but the containing language may do 
> any number of things to nullify its declaration.

Right, and I believe the draft correctly covers this concern in beginning 
the section with:

"XML Namespaces [XMLNamespaces] facilitate the creation of self-describing 
XML documents. Given that a Web document is of media type application/xml, 
or in the family of media types application/____+xml, recursive processing 
from the root element may be applied to determine not just the overall 
nature of the document, but also the meaning in context of all 
sub-elements. "

Note that it not only says recursive from the root down, it says the 
meaning "in context".  So, I think it's correct as it stands.

> For example, the rddl:resource element might be inside the 
> semantic equivalent of an html:pre, or an atom:content/@type="text".

Right, so the meaning >in context< of the rddl:resource is not what it 
might mean in some other context.  We'll process top down, find the 
html:pre, and know that it trumps the conventional meanings for its 

> As the Authoritative Metadata finding says, external metadata trumps
> internal metadata, and so the media type must first be consulted
> before any meaning can be extracted from an XML document.

Right, which is why I agreed that I needed to alter the end of 4.2.3 when 
you raised your original concern.  Assuming the proposal I made works, I 
don't see why there's any lingering problem with this either.

> The rest of 4.2.3 concerning the self-descriptive value of giving
> elements and attributes URIs is terrific.

Well, thank you!


Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Thursday, 22 January 2009 02:55:47 UTC

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