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   Re: Bring back src? (was Re: simple question on namespaces.)

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  • From: Dan Brickley <Daniel.Brickley@bristol.ac.uk>
  • To: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000 18:56:56 +0000 (GMT)

On Fri, 29 Dec 2000, Simon St.Laurent wrote:
> Maybe we could finally break the cycle of namespace violence by
> re-examining the decision to drop the src pseudo-attribute, which appears
> to have happened between the 18-May-1998 draft of Namespaces in XML
> (http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/WD-xml-names-19980518) and the 16-September-1998
> draft (http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/WD-xml-names-19980916).
> It seems that we have a problem involving overloading an identifier with
> behavior, and that separating the behavior from the identifier might
> plausibly let us get on with our real work rather than debating the nature
> of identifiers.

I really have difficulty here seeing a reason to special-case for
schemata (I'd rather have richer content-negotiation facilities,
see [1]) since similar issues arise for all sorts of information. 
But assuming for sake of argumentativeness that we *do* want
to associate a namespace URI with another more concrete, task/behaviour
oriented URI, why should we want to pepper our instance data with this
information? Sure there are lots of things one might want to say about a
namespace; a few XML elements / RDF properties would be useful, eg. 'see
also' or 'publisherPublicKeyFingerprint'. But that doesn't make the case
for making a special infrastructural home for this information. Why use
xmlnssrc:prefix="..." when one might just write out a description of the
namespace in plain XML? 

<iduseful>0</iduseful> <!-- can one do a GET on the identifier? ;) -->
<description>Some namespace or other</description>
<ownerFingerprint>FA0C 0D5A 2B3F 808D AA28  2B63 3E15 EF2F 7322 8FE4</ownerFingerprint>

...whatever. Point being that 'src' (FWIW I prefer 'seeAlso') is just a
(rather boring) bit of meta-information about the namespace whose
identifier is 'http://example.com/xmlns/myvocab', and that there are
many other things one might want to say about that NS without having to
burden one's instance data with that info.
> Perhaps something like xmlnssrc:prefix="retrievable SRC URI"?
> Not all namespaces would have to have it, but not all namespaces are
> intended for retrieval anyway.  It'd give us a much clearer line of
> demarcation as well.
> Then we could fight about what lived at the end of SRC, but we're doing
> that anyway.

Heh :) Maybe we could have something like xmlnssrcformat:prefix="URI for
format of SRC URI"? 


Or maybe we could better argue about the properties of namespaces
(seeAlso, publisher etc), rather than about the places in
XML documents where we expect to find that information...

[1] prior rambling on this...


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