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Noting the articles from Tim Bray  and Jon Udell ,
knowing as most here do that the winking and nudging
over namespace semantic assignments is really
just the next level of semantic assignment to
XML productions in general, it seems that now
is a good time to discuss means for this.
I agree with Tim that XML is a name/label/structure
system and as such, doesn't care much about this
debate. However, that simply says the developer
has to care, so we still have to face up to the
symbol grounding problem elaborated in detail
by Charles Peirce in his papers on semiotics over
a hundred years ago and clarified in the works
of John Sowa. Harnad  explains it satisfactorily
in terms of AI approaches including combining
connection systems (eg, neural netws) with symbol
systems. All good background, but there are other
approaches and we should explore these.
In short, clearly namespaces enable composability
at the syntactic level. Just as clearly, many
combinations are meaningless. As Harnad says
when defining systematicity:
"The patterns of interconnections do not decompose, combine
and recombine according to a formal syntax that can be given
a systematic semantic interpretation."
So in effect, we can create namespace aggregates
which are not systematic. So via namespaces,
any set of XML application productions (by which
I mean, a production from HTML, from SVG, from
X3D, or XSLT) can be combined and be syntactically
How can one determine:
1. If a given combination is meaningful
2. How to discover that meaning
3. How to assign that combination or even a single
production to a running piece of code
Item three is where the rubber meets the road.
a. Does RDF address these questions?
b. Is it better for worse particulary for item 3
than say using stylesheet assignments
c. Are other approaches such as abstract
object models as good or better than RDF for
writing the rules of a semantically valid
Next, is it desirable or workable that any
arbitrary combination of XML productions from
any language be meaningful? I think the answer
here is no and leads back to 1.
I think this an important topic because it touches
on issues such as when should two application language
working groups seek convergence, can we create
XML application languages that don't set of IP tripwires
by ensuring implementations based on IP aren't a part
of the language definition, should we begin to classify
semantically valid XML production combinations, and where
in that will standardization impede innovation,
is it really a good idea to use a standard namespace
name to point to running code?