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   RE: [xml-dev] Why make namespaces so complicated?

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Title: Why make namespaces so complicated?
Sorry about that last one.  Key combinations are deadly.
1.  Yes, they are both just strings.  urn:publicId is also a URN.
2.   PublicIDs can contain rubbish, but so can a URI.  Just strings.
3.  PublicIDs are as meaningful as the registration system makes
them.  That is a choice.  Conserve options.
4.  Owner, Class, Version and Language don't change it being
just a name.  They make it a name with structured parts.  Used
as designed, that can be useful information if one cares to use it.
Again, choice.  Explore options.
5.  I understand the notion of immediate self-resolution.  But
that also confuses people.  I can work with it.  Yes, a PublicID
forces some thought, but it also opens up the potential to
use the public registries and be very clear who owns a definition,
and what class and version of that definition is asserted to be
in effect for this content.
ROAs have value in contract processes.  Assertions in the
content about the contract under which it operates have value.
6.  Because a PublicID can be a namespace name value, we
have to include it in our discussions.   Otherwise, the decisions
made by the TAG based on XML-Dev can deprive us of meaningful
choice where what is meaningful is chosen locally.  Conserve
options.  It is there.  Why?
In other words, for those who say a namespace name should
just be a name, the public ID is fairly clear. (it won't get turned
blue and become clickable AFAIK).    Given an OASIS catalog,
useful things can be done with it beyond resolution.
Namespaces are better than packing the schema in the element.  Weirdly,
we do a lot of gymnastics to get around shipping a schema
or DTD and preserve well-formedness.
-----Original Message-----
From: Anderson, John [mailto:John@Barbadosoft.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2002 11:02 AM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len); xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Why make namespaces so complicated?

Understand all these things about public IDs, the point I was trying to make is that at the end of the day both a public ID and a URI are Just A String. URIs can be resolved by indirection just as well as public IDs and public IDs can contain essentially meaningless rubbish. Yes, they can carry some very useful registered information, but (correct me if I'm wrong) that's only really meaningful if you have an ISO registration code of some kind. I am no great authority, but by carrying things like Owner, Class, Version and Language, suddenly they are not really Just A Name anymore, so I can see the "information" conveyed by a public id also going stale. What do I do when I get a document with a public ID whose owner has gone out of business? I can't see it being any more useful to me than a dead URL link.
The advantage of URLs, as a particular subset of URIs, is that they have the flexibility to be "self-resolving" as a default behaviour, which is surely quite handy in some circumstances. They don't have to be used on the internet, either.
The big advantage of public IDs is that you simply can't do much with them without a resolving mechanism (implicit or explicit), which forces people to think about it a little more. This is surely not a Bad Thing.


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