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   Re: [xml-dev] URIs harmful (was RE: [xml-dev] Article: Keeping pace with

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  • To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
  • Subject: Re: [xml-dev] URIs harmful (was RE: [xml-dev] Article: Keeping pace with James Clark)
  • From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@simonstl.com>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 09:50:58 -0400
  • In-reply-to: <3D3AE434.C366E313@ActiveState.com>

> "Simon St.Laurent" wrote:
> What concrete interoperability problems (as opposed to overheated,
> never-ending discussions) have you experienced in a specification
> using the term URI rather than URL? Yes, the situation is confusing,
> and confusion is a problem. But interoperability problems are a
> separate issue and I have not seen many of those.

I've run into a few different levels of interop problems:

1) Developers who can't even figure out how the URI side of things works
and can't find vocabulary to talk with each other about it.  (This level
of frustration seems mostly ignored here since we've all talked it to
death.)  Many of these people say screw it and simply use the QName as
an identifier, ignoring the URIs completely.  This produces much simpler
code that works - up to a point.  (Yes, I've since this in the wild, and

2) Developers who build applications for local systems where they have
complete control over how a URI gets processed (heck, throw an XPointer
on the end of a URN!) who are then unpleasantly surprised if their
documents ever have to be processed in a different environment.

3) Developers who put something at the end of that URI, typically a
schema, thinking everyone else does it, only to find that other people
think their documents are weird, but that incoming documents are also

Sure, experts on namespace can sort this all out.  Does that mean the
spec made sense in the first place?  How many experts does it take to
get namespaces right?  The only genuinely surprising thing to me about
namespaces is that we've put up with this for so long.
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!


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