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   RE: [xml-dev] Registered Namespace prefixes

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[I'm not crossposting this, but you are free to summarize my response if
there's interest there.]

> From: Chiusano Joseph [mailto:chiusano_joseph@bah.com]

> I think you are *very very* close to something, but not quite there.
> What I mean is this: namespace prefixes in XML 
> schemas/documents are the
> proverbial "syntactic sugar" - that is, they are really "local" to the
> XML schema/document in which they are declared. 


> However, what really
> matters is the actual namespace identifier that the prefix represents
> (that is the "something" that you were close to). 

Yes, insofar that any prefix can be assigned to a namespace, and no prefix's
namespace id mapping can be assumed. But that's not the point of the
proposal.  The proposal makes the prefix the namespace identifier. There is
no other.

> I believe 
> it would be
> very beneficial for one to be able to use a "namespace registry", so
> that they could accurately reference namespace identifiers 
> and "include"
> them (using term loosely) in XML schemas/documents with 
> whatever prefix
> they choose.

As Dave V. points out later in this thread, such functionality is already
encompassed by RDDL.  I could see the possibility of enabling the prefix
registry to point to an RDDL resource, but what I would want ensure (for
economy, simplicity, and reliability's sake) is that the prefix registry is
as dumb as feasible and no dumber.  Smarts can be layered on top, but those
smarts would be distinct from the core functionality.

> This opens up all sorts of possibilities in an XML registry, such as:
>   (1)Query on all "XML artifacts" (elements/attributes/datatypes" that
> are in a given namespace;
>   (2)Reassign XML artifacts from one namespace to another (would
> automatically search all registered XML schemas/documents for all
> declarations/use of such artifacts in such namespace and change the
> namespace identifier in the XML schema/document);  
>   (3)Perform an automatic comparison of the "contents" of 2 (or more)
> namespaces, for harmonization purposes (perhaps an organization has a
> "test" namespace and an equivalent "production" namespace, 
> and they wish
> to determine which artifacts need to be promoted from test to 
> production
> at the proper time);       

Yes, but there's going to be extreme wariness about anything centralized in
what is fundamentally a markup language  that enables decentralization.
That's why even a dumb prefix repository is so controversial.

> ...and countless more.
> Thanks so much for bringing this idea up.

I don't think the idea is very original, really, but I figure I'd run it up
the flagpole and see who salutes it.


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