Paul has volunteered (was Re: Overloaded URIs must GO!)

Paul Prescod paul at
Tue Jun 1 06:34:01 BST 1999

Jonathan Borden wrote:
> Let me clarify. As per the XML namespace specification, the URI is used
> only as an identifier, the XML namespace specification does not ever use the
> URI in a way that resolution to a document is at all meaningful. Hence, the
> fact that the URI may or may not point to a resource is completely
> irrelevant as far as XML namespaces are concerned.

I agree 100%. According to the intention of the namespace specification
editors the fact that a URI *must* point to a resource is not relevant to
the namespaces spec despite some ambiguous wording that might make it seem
that it did.

But there are specifications being built on top of the namespaces
specification that make use of the URI. These specifications are not right
or wrong -- the namespace spec is silent about what happens if you
dereference the URI.

When these specifications are deployed, software will attempt to
dereference namespace URIs. That software will not know whether to report
inaccessible URLs as errors or retry on the hope that it is available now
or merely assume that that namespace doesn't have an associated document.
Do we report an error or merely continue?
 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"Silence," wrote Melville, "is the only Voice of God." The assertion,
like its subject, cuts both ways, negating and affirming, implying both
absence and presence, offering us a choice; it's a line that the Society
of American Atheists could put on its letterhead and the Society of
Friends could silently endorse while waiting to be moved by the spirit
to speak. - Listening for Silence by Mark Slouka, Apr. 1999, Harper's

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