Re: Namespaces are dead.

>Architectural forms provide a syntax (about which I care nothing --
>let's agree on new syntax that you like, Tim), and a paradigm (about
>which I care very passionately) in which we can have *validatable*
>*common* *public* vocabularies that can be used for interchangeable
>information.  In the AF paradigm, in any given application, we can
>have a re-usable plug-in engine for each vocabulary.

I'm a newcomer to this group, but I could like to comment on Steve's
ambition for namespace-free, public vocabularies: It is an idealistic
goal that will never work practically.

The reason that it is impossible to create a namespace-free vocabulary
is rooted in linguistic and social theories about how languages are
formed and how people ascribe meaning to words and phrases.  The meaning
of words - and thus any XML vocabulary - is constructed, used, and
reinforced within social communities.  It is impossible to find any
universally-applicable meaning for any particular word; thus, I have
always seen the namespace proposal as being a way to identify the
community that originated the "word" in the vocabulary.

I do concede your point, however, that this will impede interoperability
and communication because it will encourage communities to create, use,
and entrench their own vocabularies.  

I think that the best solution would be one that recognizes the
proclivities of human nature to form meaning within their own
communities, yet provides mechanisms to reconcile these meanings.


Bill Burkett

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William C. Burkett
Product Data Integration Technologies, Inc.
100 W. Broadway, Suite 540
Long Beach CA 90802,
562-495-6500 x13 (voice), 562-495-6509 (fax)

Received on Monday, 7 June 1999 12:15:21 UTC