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Namespaces and namespace names: a new synthesis?

From: John Cowan <cowan@locke.ccil.org>
Date: Fri, 26 May 100 16:07:39 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <200005262007.QAA01740@locke.ccil.org>
To: xml-uri@w3.org
I would like to suggest the following axioms of a possible
resolution of the namespace-name interpretation debate.
Pragmatic remarks in parentheses.

1) Namespaces are resources (they have identity and can be referenced
by URIs).

2) Every namespace has a string property called its namespace name.

3) A URI which identifies a namespace can be constructed by prepending
"data:," to the namespace name.  (The namespace named "foo" has the URI
"data:,foo".  The namespace named "http://www.w3.org/2000/xyz" has the
URI "data:,http://www.w3.org/2000/xyz".)

4) Namespace names MUST match the production "URIreference" in RFC 2396,
except that the empty string is not a valid namespace name.

5) Namespace names SHOULD match the production "absoluteURI" in RFC 2396.

6) Two URIs identify the same namespace if they are string-equal
(but the converse may or may not be true.  A fortiori, no two namespaces
can have the same namespace name.)

7) Namespaces are declared in XML documents using their namespace
names (not their URIs).

8) Clients of the Namespace Rec MAY interpret namespace names as
URI references for whatever purposes they desire.


With this compromise:

	all existing namespace-legal documents are still namespace-legal;

	namespaces are resources that have URIs and so can be the subjects
	and objects of RDF statements, though they don't have the
	same URIs that they were (assumed to) have before;

	namespace comparison is based on string-equality between
	namespace declarations.

I think this may produce at least an equality of dissatisfaction.
Is there anyone who absolutely can't live with this scheme?

John Cowan                                   cowan@ccil.org
	Yes, I know the message date is bogus.  I can't help it.
		--me, on far too many occasions
Received on Friday, 26 May 2000 15:44:01 UTC

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