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   Re: [xml-dev] limits of the generic

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[Arjun Ray]"Thomas B. Passin" <tpassin@comcast.net> wrote:
| [Arjun Ray]

|> In what sense are namespaces (as defined in the Rec) "generic"?

| I said "generic" because namespaces apply to all the specializations
| (at least, those that make use of them), but the details of the
| namespaces and what they denote can be specialized.

Well, that's a peculiar statement, too.  Weren't namespaces supposed to be
(the essential component of) a generalization to multiple "vocabularies"
in a single document?  Would we want a specialized way to generalize, or
would we want a generic way to generalize?  Or, are you saying, multiple
vocabularies are a specialization of single vocabularies, and therefore
any method to accomplish that, or even to appear to accomplish that - such
as namespaces - is generic?

[Tom P]

More or less.  We started from XML 1.0.  There all names had equal standing
and were to be treated the same.  There could be name collisions, and the
main way you could distinguish between names from different vocabularies
were by munging the names or by adding attributes that said what the
vocabulary was.  Other conventions could be imagined, and so could ways to
change or extend the xml machinery to help support vocabularies.

I view the current namespaces as being basically a standardized way to mung
the names.  Instead of saying <arjun_a src='xxx'>  or <a vocab='arjun'
src='xxx'> we say <arjun:a src='xxx'> and add the URI that the prefix is an
alias for.  Out of a universe of possible approaches we select one.  The way
I look at it, that is a constraint or specialization, even though it allows
one to distinguish between vocabularies.


Tom P


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