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   RE: URI's in namespaces

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  • From: "Didier PH Martin" <martind@netfolder.com>
  • To: "Philip Nye" <philipnye@freenet.co.uk>,"Paul Prescod" <paul@prescod.net>,"XML Developers' List" <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 12:31:29 -0500


Paul Prescod wrote:
> "Jeffrey E. Sussna" wrote:
> > ... Why
> > not just make namespace targets ordinary XML names?
> The reason we traditionally manage our URI namespace is because we want
> to manage the description of retrievable resources. Therefore, if we USE
> our pre-existing URI infrastructures then we will always come up with
> URIs that look suspiciously (and confusingly) like URLs. They will
> always be based on domain names and we know that domain names change
> hands.
> If we DO NOT use these infrastructures, then we can come up with more
> persistent, less confusing namespaces, but then we've lost the whole
> benefit of using URIs! For instance, there is no reason that we should
> use http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform instead of the less confusing
> www.w3.org.1999.xsl.transform since neither one really follows the W3Cs
> website structure ANYHOW.

Philip wrote:
>Further to this argument - managing URIs within a domain is largely self
>enforcing when the URI resolves directly or indirectly to a concrete
>resource - management is done implicitly. When the requirement is simply
>to reserve a worldwide unique name, enforcing the mechanism is an
>explicit management task - because of this the infrastructure may well
>not exist at all and is certainly open to errors and abuses.

Didier says:
So, in fact, the major problem is the usage of the <protocol> part of the
URL. It implicitly convey the information that the HTTP protocol will be use
to resolve this URL. If nothing is located at this URL the only information
returned through the HTTP protocol is an HTTP error. However, if you resolve
the following URL:  http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform here is what you

<W3C logo here>
This is an XML namespace defined in the XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version
1.0 specification.

See also:

The Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0
Namespaces in XML



So, in the case of W3C the xsl name space URI points to a document. This
document contains several links:
a) a link to the xsl recommendation which further define the xsl name space
b) a link to the XML 1.0 recommendation
c) a link to the name space recommendation

If all name space URIs would point to as much info as this, this would be
marvelous. I guess that the next step would be to have a recommendation as
to what kind of document is found at the other end of a name space URI. For
example an XML document which would include links to information sufficient
to understand this name space
a) Document for both human consumption and machine consumption
b) links to recommendations on which this name space is built

Hummm, this start to resemble a _real_ semantic Web ;-)

Didier PH Martin

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