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   Re: Begging the Question

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  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2000 09:48:05 -0500

At 11:56 AM 12/30/00 +0000, Sean McGrath wrote:
>Unique identification is the prelude to shared semantics.
>The two are so closely related that Joe Developer expects
>that they would be addressed in the same spec. Furthermore,
>Joe Developer sees a spec. on unique identification and consequently
>expects the authors to have something to say on the substantive
>issue of semantics to benefit from the uniquely identified components.
>Not so.

This is a really nice summary of the problem, I think.  Identification
comes before explanation, and the two look like they are combined at present.

One additional aspect I would add is that Joe Developer doesn't appear to
be the only person making statements about what namespaces mean based on
what they expected to see in the spec.  

The XML-URI discussions this summer had to deal with namespace-oriented
expectations made explicit in other (non-Recommendation, but apparently
axiomatic) W3C documents [1] [2] [3].

For example (from [1]):
>The namespace document (with the namspace URI) is a place for 
>the language publisher to keep definitive material about a 
>namespace. Schema languages are ideal for this. There is a 
>huge a mount of value to be gained from having a document be 
>self-describing in the Web. (This does not preclide the operation 
>of checking a document against a different schema if one wants to
>as a local operation). The first stage in self-describing documents 
>is to do it at the XML schema (structure) level. Successive stages 
>are to give semenatic information.

Recent activity by the XML Schema Working Group [4] seems to confirm this

[1] - http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Architecture.html
[2] - http://www.w3.org/TR/NOTE-webarch-extlang
[3] - http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Axioms.html
[4] - http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200010/threads.html#00803

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books


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