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RE: What is at the end of the namespace?

From: Leigh Dodds <ldodds@ingenta.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2001 11:47:21 -0000
To: <Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com>
Cc: <www-talk@w3.org>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com [mailto:Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com]
> Sent: 19 November 2001 11:09
> To: ldodds@ingenta.com
> Cc: www-talk@w3.org; uri@w3.org
> Subject: RE: What is at the end of the namespace?
> > The fuss over namespace URIs has been a result of the fact that
> > the most common context in which a HTTP URI is processed is
> > a web browser.
> Are you saying that it is incorrect for a browser to expect
> an HTTP deamon to interpret an 'http:' scheme URI?

Er no, not at all. I was actually making a very simple point:

"What is at the end of a namespace" is an FAQ asked by users, not
browsers (at least in my neck of the woods!).

Using the 'http:' scheme as a NS identifier has caused confusion because
is an expectation that this can be pasted into a browser location bar, and
browser will talk to an HTTP daemon and have it resolve to something.
the fact that these http URIs don't actual appear in a webpage, but in an NS
in some arbitrary XML document (i.e. in a context where it is intended to be
as an identifier only).

That's not particularly contentious is it?

Setting aside the web architectural discussion, and focusing on the question
in the subject line of this thread: It seems safe to conclude that if you
want to avoid the expectation that there is something useful referenced
by your namespace identifiers, then don't use an http based identifier. Use
a GUID, or some URN. (i.e. avoid the associated social framework).

If you do want to use a http identifier, perhaps because you *want* to
have it point to something useful. Then RDDL seems the preferable option,
as it supports a human and machine processable directory of associated
resources [1, 2]. (i.e. use the social framework, in an extensible and
open way)

This seems a useful summation of the options, which doesn't require
digging into the philosophical differences between different identifier
schemes, IMHO.



[1]. http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2001/01/10/rddl.html
[2]. http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2001/02/28/rddl.html
Received on Monday, 19 November 2001 06:49:21 UTC

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