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

Re: Moving on (was Re: URIs quack like a duck)

From: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2000 10:12:49 -0400
Message-ID: <00eb01bfca41$234ce470$a60a1712@col.w3.org>
To: <xml-uri@w3.org>, "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Thank you,

Simon, for bring the focus back.

-----Original Message-----
From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
To: xml-uri@w3.org <xml-uri@w3.org>
Date: Monday, May 29, 2000 9:25 PM
Subject: Moving on (was Re: URIs quack like a duck)

>At 08:57 PM 5/29/00 -0400, Clark C. Evans wrote:
>>On Mon, 29 May 100, John Cowan wrote:
>>> By issuing a Recommendation, the W3C as an organization pledged its
>>Admitting a mistake should not bring dishonor.
>No, but changing the spec so that something more that comparing names on
>the basis of string equality is specified probably should involve a full
>revision, not merely a reinterpretation.
>I'd suggest that:
>1) For now, we leave Namespaces in XML alone - effectively, accepting the
>comparison as string literals already there.  This allows relative URIs
>while not specifying how they should be processed.

I think that while we may try to reduce the damage in the result we settle
whatever the outcome, the NS spec needs an explanation as a minimum so that
this same discussion isn't repeated every few years.   In other words, a new
version of the spec.

>2) If changes to that status quo are needed, the W3C should start a new
>working group devoted to namespace issues, which uses this mailing list as
>a public forum for reviewing comments.  That working group can issue
>'Namespaces in XML 2.0' in whatever form it finds appropriate, with
>concessions (or not) to backward compatibility.

We have to find ways of making a process which has a form of public
accountability, and also works in finite time and can make intitutional
commitments to other parts of web development.

What do we do, for example, when the RDF group has a commitment from the XML
community, and then in a public list does not feel any responsability to
uphold that?
In the IETF, there was (and stiull may be) very strong peer pressure not to
break other systems, and very strong peer pressure to stick to the
principles of design on which the Internet had been
built.   The web now spans two very strong cultures: the Intrenet culture,
and the SG/X-ML culture,each with their own set of techncial mores,
vocabularies, etc. Also, the web has added
a few more maxims to its own culture.

With authority comes responsability.  One cannot give public accountability
of a form which allows a random veto by those only interested in part of the
system, and "alergic" to other parts (as you put it).    I think some form
of public issues list with incoming issues automatically logged, and
disposition including hypertext links to the resolution, may be a good
interface between a working group and a wider public interest group.

But for now we need a solution to this so that the DOM can move forward.

The fact that relative URIs are terated diferently by different groups
already clearly means that they should be warned against as a minimum.

Then, when you don't use then, URI comparison and string comparison are the
same - something we can take advantage of by allowing XML software at the
lower laters to be simple in its comparisons, but allowing the full richness
to the upper layers.

This seems to me the only way this can go.  We have made many attempts to
make complex compromises and wacky alternatives, but I think we come back to
the basic options considered
by the xml-plenary as the options.  I don't think this is a time for
compromise. The NS spec in adopting compromise wording (bits to please each
camp) left open the mess we are in now.
I think we have to be clear.

>Simon St.Laurent

Tim BL
Received on Tuesday, 30 May 2000 10:11:29 UTC

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