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

Re: A little courtesy, please

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 09:58:28 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: xml-uri@w3.org
At 03:05 AM 5/23/00 -0500, Dan Connolly wrote:
>Either namespaces are web resources in every sense of the word,
>and hence any sort of URI reference the author chooses
>may be used to point to them, or not. And if not, the design
>of XML namespaces doesn't agree with web architecture, which
>is that important things should be treated as web resources
>with all the rights and obligations thereof.

The above is the core of the open issue.  Let's say I agree with the
following, because I do:

1. Markup vocabularies are important
2. Vocabularies are named by namespace names per the recommendation
3. Important things should be addressable on the web

So... how do you address a vocabulary?  I don't know.  I don't believe that
the problem has a solution which takes the form of a single URI.  I see
a multiplicity of interesting schema facilities (XML-Schema, RDF Schema,
Relax, Schematron, DTDs, more coming), a multiplicity of other interesting
stuff about vocabularies that isn't captured by schemas (stylesheet contents,
java classes, PICS ratings, tons and tons of interesting non-schema
RDF), and for any one schema or other related resource, the versioning 
problem, the human-language problem, the application-segment problem (the
authoring version vs. the database-load version)... and a single URI is
going to guide me through this swamp?  I don't think so.

I'd feel a lot more comfortable if there were a packaging-document
activity actually doing useful work (mea culpa, I ran out of time too)
or some other stake in the ground that recognized the complexity and
subtlety of the problem of navigating from a resource to the various
definitional and semantic resources that help process it.

I'd also like, for reasons of interoperability, if we're going to get into
the habit of dereferencing namespace names, to have someone take a stand
as to what the result ought to be.

See, even given that we share the goals of, as Dan put it, linking
vocabularies to the Web, it's still possible reasonably to disagree that
overloading the namespace name is the right way to do it.  Without,
I believe, "disagreeing with the web architecture". 
Received on Tuesday, 23 May 2000 12:55:20 UTC

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