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   Universality [Re: What is a namespace ... really?]

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  • From: james anderson <James.Anderson@mecomnet.de>
  • To: XML Developers' List <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 12:59:55 +0100

This question "how universal is a name" bears further discussion.

In particular, I would presume that the "html" in mr megginson's note is
literally a prefix term and that the reference is to the qualified and not the
universal name.

Where the structure and attribution vary, I would expect a distinct uri. The
note leaves me uncertain as to the author's (and this list's) interpretation.

This leads to the question of whether a processor / an application can expect
a universal name to truly always describe the same thing. This question is
distinct from how the description of the thing is located (ie whether the uri
locates a schema).
It does, however, figure in the question of how efficient schema processing is
permitted to be. From the remarks on SGML practice (which is absent
namespaces) schemas appear to have been ephemeral (ie. document-instance
specific) and prohibited caching. In the presence of namespaces this practice
could (and, I would argue, should) well change.

The namespace-PR is very terse in this regard and I would welcome further
discussion on this point.

david@megginson.com wrote:
> What if I want to create a schema specifying that (for my set of
> documents) an html:p element may contain a tei:foreign element, or a
> docbook:Trademark element in addition to the regular HTML elements?
> What if I want to create a schema specifying that (for my set of
> documents) an html:p element may *not* contain an html:font element?
> It doesn't make sense to have to create a new and different namespace
> for either of these -- I'm still using the individual elements in
> mostly the same way.  I could, of course, use some kind of inheritance
> scheme, but I don't think the world will buy anything that requires
> retrieving 5 or 10 schemas from different servers just to figure out
> that an html:a element is from the HTML namespace.

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