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   Re: [xml-dev] more QName madness

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W. E. Perry scripsit:

> I believe that you are confusing the context of the document (within an
> internetwork addressing scheme) with its content, which we may assume exhibits
> both integrity and autonomy. 

I am comparing the use of URIs *in documents* (not to identify documents)
with QNames in documents.  QNames are just a minimization practice and
concession to the SGML name rules, but semantically they are the same
as URIs.  I am not here talking about the use of URIs to retrieve or
name documents.

> Having a context for a document is the
> necessary consequence of having access to that document via the internetwork.

Surely.  But that says nothing about whether the access point should be
named by a global name or a local one.  The local-naming UUCP scheme
did *work*, after all; it simply wasn't as convenient as the domainist one.

> QNames in content are the mutilation of document integrity to embed context, and
> worse, context from a single, particular, transient point of view. If we grant the
> autonomy of a processing node, then the context which we have gone through such
> contortions to embed as QNames is useless to the very processing nodes where we
> had hoped that it would facilitate interop, because that context is unlikely to be
> the context of interest from the unique point of view of such a processing node.

Every word of this is equally applicable to the use of postal codes, telephone
numbers, language tags, and a thousand other globally assigned names in
documents; yet Real World documents are riddled with them and could hardly
do without them.

> Processing on the internetwork inevitably involves fetching, or at least
> accepting, documents from internetwork-addressable locations. With each of those
> documents comes a context utterly specific to that use of that document on that
> occasion. Internetwork interop has to be predicated on the ability of each process
> to identify, distinguish and combine those particular contexts into a taxonomy
> unique to each instance of process. What could be further from serving this
> requirement than demanding an unachievable, static, a priori universal agreement
> on namespacing or name-qualifying standards for use in document content?

The mere use of namespace names says nothing about the semantics of those
names, any more than the mere use of unprefixed names says anything about
*their* semantics.

(I realize that XML Schema-heads think they can associate a single unique
semantics to every namespace-qualified name, but this should not influence
the view of namespaces as such.  Abusus non tollit usum.)

What is the sound of Perl?  Is it not the       John Cowan
sound of a [Ww]all that people have stopped     jcowan@reutershealth.com
banging their head against?  --Larry            http://www.ccil.org/~cowan


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