Namespace URI address resources

Tim Bray tbray at
Mon Jun 14 19:39:53 BST 1999

At 12:40 PM 6/14/99 -0400, Murray Maloney wrote:
>There is nothing preventing another spec -- say XML Schema -- from
>leveraging namespace identifiers and adding mechanisms to allow 
>resolution of associated resources, is there?.

Yes.  I think it would be completely inadmissable for XML schemas to
try to claim ownership of the resource at the end of the namespace URI.
(Note that RDF kind of does so, which is a grievous error).  

Here's why.  A schema is an interesting external resource that you 
often need to aid in processing an XML resource.  But it's just one
of them.  You also sometimes need

 - a stylesheet
 - more stylesheets (because of cascading, or because you only 
   believe in one of the stylesheet religions)
 - some related java classes
 - some related COM objects
 - a DTD
 - a set of documents involved in an extended hyperlink group
 - a topic map
 - some graphics 
 - some other multimedia resources
 - etc etc etc etc

None of these are more important than all the rest, and none of them
has the right to pirate the namespace URI.

It is becoming painfully obvious that we need a general-purpose 
packaging mechanism to deliver an arbitrary number of related 
whatevers along with a piece of XML payload.  There has been a lot
of discussion about this around the W3C.  It may be the case that
multipart-mime provides a general solution for this problem (don't
understand it well enough myself to have an opinion), or perhaps
we need an XML Packaging Language to use for this purpose. -Tim

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