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But for abstract resources like namespace URIs and
(some) RDF subjects -- which is what we were talking about --
you don't ever need to actually dereference the thing.
XML applications can still process documents with
xmlns:foo = "http://purl.org/foo" even if the purl.org
server is down; it's only a problem if PURL.ORG goes
out of business and auctions off the domain name.
Joe I have some difficulties following you here. Yes we can say that a
URI does not need to point to a physical location (in fact the URI is an
implicit or explicit name, not a location). However, if XML applications
do not need the PURL server to be ON to process XML documents, why then
do we need to use the PURL name resolver in the first place? If the XMl
application do not need the PURL name resolver to process an XML
document, then it is not relevant that the server is ON or OFF. Even
more, it is not necessary to take the extra effort to register to the
PURL server and take its precious bandwidth, doesn't it?
URN schemes haven't taken off because too many people fail
to accept the idea of a universal name that doesn't ever
need to be resolved in order to perform a useful function
(despite the prolific abundance of such names in, e.g.,
XML namespace names and RDF subjects). Every time
someone proposes a non-resolvable URN scheme, it gets
shot down on the grounds that it can't be resolved.
Human nature will always amaze me. Groups tends to acquire some strange
mental viruses and this leads to some strange and incoherent behavior.
My ET is right, we are an immature species :-) :-). The URI debate
oscillate between brilliant summits and craziness depths. I just hope
someday we'll reach the ground level :-)
Didier PH Martin