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   Re: W3C XML "Coordination" Hassle

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  • From: "Tim Berners-Lee" <timbl@w3.org>
  • To: "\"Pope 32767\"" <pope32767@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 10:22:50 -0400

There is a publicly archived list, xml-uri@w3.org, for discussion of this
See http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xml-uri/
I have put a point of view in a welcome message,

See also comments below.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ann Navarro <ann@webgeek.com>
To: tbl@w3.org <tbl@w3.org>; janet@w3.org <janet@w3.org>
Date: Sunday, May 14, 2000 10:02 AM
Subject: Fwd: W3C XML "Coordination" Hassle

>>X-Originating-IP: []
>>From: "Pope 32767" <pope32767@hotmail.com>
>>To: xml-dev@xml.org
>>Subject: W3C XML "Coordination" Hassle
>>Date: Sat, 13 May 2000 01:54:41 GMT
>>Sender: owner-xml-dev@xml.org
>>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.

That just about sums it up.

>>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.

While is anyone can clean something up it is in general to be welcomed,
the XML-plenary is an ad-hoc group which covers all the working groups in
XML for general discussion but is not part of the W3C process for such

>>  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.

I am supposed to give architectural guidance and be a judge of consensus.
Here there seems as you say to be no consensus.  However, in this case an
arbitrary decision
is not, IMHO, a good idea.  I feel quite strongly about the technical
Levaing the consensus judgement to others leves me fee to argue the
technical points.
(Using URIs is crucailly important for the architecture, and forbidding
relative URIs
while workable is an inferior solution).

>> That means everything is stuck
>>and nobody can say what is going to happen.  In my opinion

No one likes to be held up like this over a fundamental point, but making
decision arbitrary to save time is not a solution IMHO. By saying the lack
of decision
is a problem you speak for everyone.

>>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.

I have a (perhaps naif) trust in the outcome of a technically sound solution
a relief of misunderstandings.  Maybe my naivete will be tested
at this point.

>> 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 hope that does not become the way we as a community make decisions!

>>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.

Given that a lot of the URI work has happened on IETF lists the
discussion has to be open to IETF input too.

>>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.

There are plenty of open discussion lists
already and although this is an important discussion I don't think it would
make above the fold.


>>           -- Pope 32767
>>Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
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