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Re: Toward the self-describing web [was: Irony heaped on irony]

From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2000 11:58:45 -0400
Message-ID: <392564B5.67ADF69@reutershealth.com>
To: Matt Sergeant <matt@sergeant.org>, "xml-uri@w3.org" <xml-uri@w3.org>
Matt Sergeant wrote:

> No. Namespaces are names. Unique identifiers. Nothing more, nothing
> less. They don't need to be resolved in any way shape or form. How are you
> going to resolve this valid namespace uri:
> 
>         xmlns:ms="mailto:matt@sergeant.org?subject=XPathScript"

Red herring.  No one is calling for any change to this URI, since it is
already absolute.  Indeed, no "mailto:" URI can ever be anything but
absolute.

> > but what really makes it powerful and useful is that it makes the
> > web of XML documents self-describing: whenever you get a document,
> > you should be able to use the namespace identifiers to figure
> > out what the author of the document meant by the vocabulary
> > of tags and attributes used in the document.
> 
> I completely disagree. The description or specification for the XML could
> be available at the namespace, but in no way should the spec mandate that.

"Use...to figure out" is not a synonym for "directly dereference".
I can "figure out" that the address "1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC USA"
refers to the U.S. White House without actually having to send
snail mail there.

-- 

Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  || http://www.reutershealth.com
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)
Received on Friday, 19 May 2000 11:59:15 UTC

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