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Re: A little courtesy, please

From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 16:44:10 -0400
Message-ID: <392C3F1A.443CCDFE@reutershealth.com>
To: Jonathan Marsh <jmarsh@microsoft.com>, "xml-uri@w3.org" <xml-uri@w3.org>
Jonathan Marsh wrote:

> To bring Namespaces into line with the expected handling of relative URIs
> means that each document must have a base URI at all times, which is
> currently not the case.

Most documents *do* have base URIs, unless they arrive at the parser using
a raw TCP socket, or on the standard input, or something like that.
Documents which don't have base URIs can't usefully contain relative
URI references of any sort, not just relative namespace names.

> Is making something as fundamental as element names context-sensitive a good
> design?  I don't see how it could be, and David Carlisle has done a good job
> of providing examples and scenarios of the dangers involved.

"Sharp tools cut."  Is it really a problem if something dangerous is allowed?
 
> So if we absolutize for the sake of URI consistency, we also have to forbid
> relative URIs so that names are indepedent to changes of document location.

But if you happen to *want* names that are dependent on document location?

> Of course, if we forbid, we no longer have to absolutize.  Absolutization
> and forbidding amount to essentially the same thing.

A fundamental difference is that absolutizing is a "quiet change", whereas
forbidding is noisy: existing documents get orphaned, as opposed to
existing systems starting to malfunction in unexpected ways.
 
> 1) Define somewhere (XML Base?) that all XML documents in which the base
> cannot be determined default to a constant value for their base URI.

That could certainly be done.

> If you have any better ideas on how to reconcile URI conformance and name
> stability, I'd love to hear them. 

So say we all.

-- 

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 Wednesday, 24 May 2000 16:44:40 UTC

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