W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-uri@w3.org > May 2000

Multiple paths to a namespace URI

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 18:34:28 -0400
Message-Id: <200005152232.SAA24479@hesketh.net>
To: <xml-uri@w3.org>
The more I think about relative namespace URIs, the more alarmed I become.

I already noted the simple case of moving (or copying) documents from one
place to another, and the namespace URIs getting broken.  In cases where
documents are generated - especially if they are generated from fragments
of XML - it may well make sense to have multiple output URIs for different
types of output.  

These multiple output URIs may not even be 'aware of each other' - users
may think they're entering information into a small system, which they see
results from, when in fact their information is much more widely
distributed though mechanisms (even simple regulatory reporting) of which
they aren't aware.  Relative URIs that worked so well in one context may
cause problems in another context, as part of a slightly different document
type building on the same XML-based information.

I see all kinds of red lights flashing on my shining new XML repository
already, and it's a black box that's not even plugged in right now.

Beyond single-user situations (where users have perfect memories, at that),
it looks to me like relative URIs are pernicious.  There are risks even
without generated content, and generating content seems even more endangered.

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
Cookies / Sharing Bandwidth
http://www.simonstl.com
Received on Monday, 15 May 2000 18:32:37 UTC

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