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- From: John Cowan <email@example.com>
- To: XML Dev <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 03 Dec 1998 15:50:08 -0500
Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> How is [a notation] any better than a MIME
> type, which does about the same thing? It is slightly more flexible - like
> a gun with a barrel that can rotate 90 degrees, right at your foot.
It also allows you to escape the dilemma "either private use only,
or published in the IANA registry". See below.
> So you'd like to use the Web as one giant registry? I suppose I could
> ponder this, but again, I have serious doubts as to its usefulness. If
> only on grounds of longevity - /X10/ could go dim in ten years, with no way
> to figure out what happened.
Very true. Hence the need for URNs, or URLs managed as URNs.
No formal property whatever *guarantees* persistence: persistence
is a property of how humans behave (in the case of MIME, how
Jon Postel behaved and how his successors are expected to behave).
> External X10 data could, however, change its
> identification without some lucky person or program tracking down every
> reference to it in documents to reflect the change.
Again, I believe notations (whether used directly, or mediated through
schemas/DTDs) are far more useful when governing elements than when
describing whole remote documents.
> Putting the notations
> in documents creates a maintenance headache that shouldn't be
> underestimated. Of course, it depends on whether its easier to change the
> documents or the server providing the extra resources. Right now, it's a
> lot easier to change the server.
Okay, I'm convinced now that we really need the MIME-types-as-notations
DTD fragment. Stand by.....
> >> Public registries and self-identifying documents seem like the only out of
> >> this mess to me, but so far that hasn't gone nearly far enough.
> >The WWW *is* a public registry, or at least can encapsulate one
> >using PURLs and such.
> See above for longevity issues. Something safe and centralized, complete
> with version control, seems like the only way out of this nightmare.
Safe central registries can be *created* on top of the WWW (as
the PURL folks are doing) without sacrificing the utility of
ad-hoc-but-globally-accessible universal names for things.
John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan email@example.com
You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn.
You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn.
Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)
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