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   W3C XML "Coordination" Hassle

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  • From: "Pope 32767" <pope32767@hotmail.com>
  • To: xml-dev@xml.org
  • Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 01:54:41 GMT

The mind virus that has infected the W3C's XML Activity
is all about what namespaces mean when they are not regular
URLs.  The Namespaces Reccommendation said that two namespaces
were the same if they matched exactly char-by-char.  (The
attribute values not the prefixes, that is).  It
also said that they were URI references.  Those two ideas
conflict because thesame-looking relative URL means different things
depending on what document it's in, but strings are strings
no matter what the contextis.

That leads to 3 ideas: forbid relative URLs in namespace
declarations, always convert relative to absolute before
comparing, or just say that namespace names aren't URLs at
all but just strings that look like them (keep the exact-match
idea).  All these ideas either break
existing documents or existing software or both and they
are incompatible with each other.

Different groups in the W3C have decided different things
and they are changing their positions all the time and
shifting back and forth.  The XML Plenary is supposed to
clean up messes like this.  However there is no consensus
anywhere with maybe half the people who take any one
position finding all the other positions absolutely intolerable.
I am not going to name names here.

TimBL who is SUPPOSED to be the final authority has said that
he is not going to decide so that he can make his input just
like any other W3C member.  That means everything is stuck
and nobody can say what is going to happen.  In my opinion

I am not going to say inflamatory thing like the process is
hosed or whatever since I am sure a way out will be found
but lots of people are going to be unhappy with it no matter
what it is.  But eventually I think people will get tired
of arguing about it and just accept some answer just to have
a definite answer after all.

I am posting this because I don't think it should all be
kept undercover, instead outside groups like XML-Dev need
to use some pressure where ever they can (over a beer or
whatever) to get the mess cleaned up and the Working Drafts
moved on.  I realize this means muck raking journalists
may get a hold of it and run scare headlines like "XML Doomed!"
or somethign stupid like that, I can't help it.  Somehow
XML Activity has to **** or get off the pot.

           -- Pope 32767
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