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

RE: A little courtesy, please

From: Jonathan Marsh <jmarsh@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 12:28:41 -0700
Message-ID: <116DFD732FA92E4D9B647C8EEF6DAF1015E203@red-pt-02.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "'John Cowan'" <jcowan@reutershealth.com>, xml-uri@w3.org
John Cowan wrote:

> 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.

This does not address my concern, which is that *some* documents at *some*
times don't have base URIs.

If I have a document with relative URIs (not in namespaces), and I send it
through a pipe so that there is no base, and then retrieve it from the pipe
and put it in a new location, all is well.  It is still a well-formed +
namespace compliant document the whole time.  I can't resolve the relative
URIs during the transitory period that the document is in the pipe, but no
information loss occurs.

If names are absolutized, during the time the document is in the pipe, it is
simply not a legal document according to the namespace spec.  Accounting for
this enforces substantial limitations on the useage of XML not well
justified by current practice, and requires a redesign of many (all?)
namespace-aware interfaces (standard or otherwise) to XML documents.

> > 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?

Then don't use XML or place such "names" in content, e.g. <property
name="/first/second"/>.
 
> > 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.

Granted.  But you seem to concur with my basic assertion, that the end
result for the average user is the same - "don't use them".
Received on Thursday, 25 May 2000 15:29:46 UTC

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