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   Just say 'mu' to namespace URIs (was Re: [xml-dev] XML 1.1 grinds tohalt

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On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 16:56:01 -0700, Joe English <jenglish@flightlab.com> 

> Mu.  We're talking about "Namespaces in XML"; namespace names
> aren't URIs (or IRIs), they're opaque character strings which
> are supposed to conform to the syntax of URIs (or IRIs).
> The network is irrelevant.

<rant permathread="true">
For what very little it's worth, three years of this discussion has simply 
convinced me that in general namespace names should be URNs: like namespace 
names they're abstract identifiers, and AFAIK there are no issues about 
comparing them. Tim Bray and Berners-Lee argue against this in the most 
recent TAG IRC:

19:22:35 [DanC]
Bray: I remain convinced that URNs are almost always a bad idea for XML 
19:22:39 [DanC]
Chris: because...?
19:22:56 [DanC]
TimBL: because either they're not resolvable or you're reinventing HTTP.

TimBL's right, of course, but: a) there's  still no consensus  on what 
dereferencing a namespace URI should produce; b) there is a very 
significant *conceptual* price people pay, and pay, and pay for getting 
mixed up by the different semantics of namespace names and URIs (such as 
internationalization/localization and comparison, just to name this week's 
hot potatoes); c) the 'unenlightened' but influential folks in Redmond WA 
and Washington DC are voting with their feet for URNs and this debate is 
likely to become moot Real Soon Now; and d) W3C could have "reinvented 
HTTP" to resolve URNs in a distributed, reliable manner several times over 
with the effort that has gone into this debate.

Speaking only for myself, and I will now shut up and crawl back under my 
rock for another year or so until the permanentness of this permathread 
gets under my skin once again :-)  I KNOW that there are good arguments 
against this rant, but it's just soooooooo frustrating to watch the W3C 
"grind to a halt" over this that I just can't think about them anymore.


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