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   Re: simple question on namespaces.

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  • From: "Sean B. Palmer" <sean@mysterylights.com>
  • To: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2000 14:01:40 +0000

> All attempts to assign meaning to namespace names (which are
> URI references) are ex post facto and irrelevant to the aims of
> the namespace recommendation,

The original aim of the namespace recommendation was achieved when it went
to recommendation: to provide a method to define a unique indicator in the
form of a URI for a namespace of XML. Thus, any attempt to say "making
namespaces URIs was incorrect" is frankly absurd at this point (i.e. I
agree with Tim). However, I agree that after all this time is still isn't
really clear what the overall *function* of namespaces will be: not with
reference to what the recommendation says, because it doesn't "say"
anything, all it dos is define a system. What needs to become clearer now
is the semantics (small "s") of namespaces before we can figure out al of
the "dereferncing" arguements and so on (or "hot air" as Tim might say...)

> Once there is some general agreement as to what kinds of
> semantics one might expect to attach to namespaces, and
> what mechanisms prove to be the best for expressing those
> semantics, then it will be possible to have a useful debate
> about the meaning of namespace identifiers.

I think some of the confusion was generated from the overall concept of
namespaces. Really it is too simple: and people expect something much more
complex. Most of the length of the namespace spec. is how to use namespaces
in XML, and says (*relatively*) very little about the purpose and intent of
namespaces. Once people get to grips that a namespace is a nmae is a name,
then we can decide what we want to *do* with the fact that our little bit
of XML has a unique name.

Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
http://www.w3.org/WAI/ [ERT/GL/PF]
"Perhaps, but let's not get bogged down in semantics."
   - Homer J. Simpson, BABF07.


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