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Re: Namespace names and URIs

From: Dave Hollander <dmh@commerce.net>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 13:29:05 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
To: xml-uri@w3.org
On Tue, 16 May 2000 01:57:40 -0400 (EDT) Tim Bray wrote:
 > I apologize in advance for the length of this message. We're all 
 > busy but this is important. But here's a summary: 
 > 1. URIs are sound in their design, just as as TimBL claims 
 > 2. Namespaces set out to solve the problem of naming things, no 
 >     more, and they succeeded 
 > 3. It is reasonable to want more from namespace names, and for 
 >     this reason, the fact that they are syntactically URIs is good, as it 
 >     leaves open the door for the building of the Semantic Web 
 > 4. It is wrong to compromise the basic utility of namespaces by 
 >     imposing strict URI-ness on them 
 > 5. The use of relative URI references as namespace names is wrong 
 >    and dangerous and should be, at the least, deprecated 

I agree with Tim Bray.  I can accept a softer warning about the use
of relative URI references as I trust the community will strengthen it in

As for point 3, I think namespaces *should* be more than just unique 
names, but the namespace rec does not provide it.  Remember the 
public reaction to the introduction of the namespace rec? This reaction
included lots of dire warnings that namespaces are underspecified.
I believe this issue is just another example. The namespace Rec leaves
namespace semantics up to the application.

I also share Simon's concerns:
 > More frightening for me at least, is the prospect that moving a 
 > document from one location on a site to another might in fact change 
 > the understood vocabulary of the document. That seems too risky - 
 > to me - to allow. 

We don't have the foundation for specifying how namespaces are anything 
but a bunch of names. Now that some of us have been using namespaces 
for a while, perhaps we can develop a proposal for namespace semantics. 
I think that might be interesting and may be willing to participate if others 
consider it is a good use of time and effort.


Dave Hollander
Co-Chair W3C XML CG and Plenary
Co-Chair W3C XML Schema Working Group
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" 
Sheila Landy, mother of 2
Received on Wednesday, 17 May 2000 12:00:50 UTC

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