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Re: Irony heaped on irony

From: Paul W. Abrahams <abrahams@valinet.com>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 12:06:19 -0400
Message-ID: <392EA0FB.60EF385B@valinet.com>
To: David Brownell <david-b@pacbell.net>
CC: John Aldridge <john.aldridge@informatix.co.uk>, xml-dev@xml.org, xml-uri@w3.org
David Brownell wrote:

> The "XML Namespaces" specification is quite clear that the
> purpose of a namespace "Universal Resource IDENTIFIER" is
> identification, not location.
>
> Were the purpose of those namespace URIs to be location
> (as in:  dereference to get a schema) then the spec would
> have used a "Universal Resource LOCATOR".
>
> URIs are very fit for the purpose of identification.  And
> that's the task/purpose identified in the namespace spec.
>
> There's a clear line between identifying something ("my auto,
> which has been stolen" -- it's got a Vehicle IDENTIFICATION
> number [VIN] too!) and locating it.

There's a difference between a VIN and a namespace name.  A VIN identifies a
particular object such as your car.   A namespace name need not be associated
with any object, real or virtual, at all.  The problem with URIs is that
they're overloaded with an irrelevant significance, namely, identifying
resources.   Any unique identifier would serve the purpose, and one with no
connotations would serve it better.

But I agree with your main point, which is that the purpose of namespace names
is not to locate anything.

Paul Abrahams
Received on Friday, 26 May 2000 12:06:48 UTC

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