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Re: the questions remains [was Re: Begging the Question

From: james anderson <james.anderson@attglobal.net>

> Where the chosen URI scheme is "http", the reader might reasonably
> expect that the semantics described in the specification of the http URL
> scheme should apply. That is, as noted in section 3.2.2 of rfc2068, "the
> 'http' scheme is used to locate network resources via the HTTP
> protocol."

There have been suggestions that the W3C specs should include a broader
range of URIs, perhaps even not using any http:  examples.  Anyone who
thinks this would be a good idea might like to contact the comments list of
the XML Core WG (or your organization's W3C rep, if your organization has
joined w3c).

Rick Jelliffe

That is, the intended use of this specific URI form is to
> retrieve a resource. Where the uninitiated reader is left to fill in the
> blanks, a reasonable supposition is that the resource might well be a
> schema. Even though this stands in contrast to the namespace
> recommendation's stated goals. Where the reader attempts to resolve this
> quandry by asking, "well, if it's not a schema, then what is it?" the
> situation deteriorates from bad to worse. This is not a happy situation,
> but what's a reader to do?
> The reader expects either that the namespace recommendation would
> acknowledge that the consequences of retrieval are at present not
> understood and therefore formulate examples to employ URI's which were
> not associated with a retrieval semantics, or that the namespace
> recommendation would describe the nature and use of the resource which
> is to be retrieved from locations for which a URL is specified, or, at
> least, that the namespace recommendation would say that the conformance
> of a document which incorporates URI's with a retrieval semantics is
> defined only in the context of an additional spec which does describe
> those retrieval semantics.
> The namespace recommendation adopts the semantics of URI's with respect
> to authorities in pursuit of the goal of ensuring uniqueness and
> persistence, but then ignores the retrieval semantics of the URL's which
> it uses to illustrate its concepts. This is incoherent. It leads to
> situations like the following
> Lisa Rein wrote:
> >
> > Greetings Uche:
> > ...
> > However, I probably gat asked that question from throughly puzzled
> > students more than anything else when I was teaching:  "Where does the
> > the namespace URI go to?" (Um. Nowhere.  I just looks like a URI.  It
> > isn't one.)
> > Why doesn't it go anywhere?  Could it go somewhere?  (No.  It could say
> > "ooga booga" and it would still work.)
> > Have I ever thought about maybe having it go somewhere?......(You get
> > the message)
> >
> Wouldn't it be easier to fix this? Issue a correction to
> REC-xml-names-19990114  in which the examples use only URI forms which
> entails only the minimal semantics which the recommendation can explain.
> If the implications of a specific URI form are not understood, then
> don't choose to use that URI form which will lead to questions which are
> unanswerable. Why is it better to repeatedly respond to the confusion
> which otherwise inevitably ensues?
> Martin Gudgin wrote:
> >
> > > > Most of the unfulfilling argument surrounding it springs from the
> > > > assumption that, since namespace names *look* like URLs, they should
> > *act*
> > > > like URLs -- that is, that one should be able to to point a Web
> > > > at them and retrieve something useful since they look like something
> > > > might point a Web Browser at.  This assumption, while not
> > > > is explicitly disclaimed by the namespaces spec.
> > >
> > > Really?  Where?
> >
> > Section 2[1] says:
> >
> > 'The namespace name, to serve its intended purpose, should have the
> > characteristics of uniqueness and persistence. It is not a goal that it
> > directly usable for retrieval of a schema (if any exists).'
> >
> > I note from this that it only mentions retrieval of schemata but maybe
it is
> > reasonable to extend the meaning of the statement to cover all resource
> > types.
> >
> > Whether this is the 'explicit disclaimer' that Jonathan meant only he
> > confirm or deny.
> >
> > Martin Gudgin
> > DevelopMentor
> >
> > [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml-names/#ns-decl