Namespace URI address resources

David Brownell david-b at
Tue Jun 15 01:36:58 BST 1999

Ronald Bourret wrote:
> Murray Maloney wrote:
> > OK, so we disagree.
> Actually, quite a few people disagree with using the namespace URI to
> retrieve the schema, as recent discussions have shown. Unfortunately,
> although we've assembled a mass of discomfort, none of us has come up with
> what I would consider an absolute killer technical argument -- that is, one
> that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that it won't work. 

I think Tim came closest ... but I think that there can be no such
"killer" argument, unless it's against the strawman argument that
the namespace URI suffices for everything (except poverty, war...).

Why?  Because that there are simple conventions one can adopt to
address such issues.  For example, the "Z" schema system could
by default resolve a specified URI (defaulting to the relative
"z-schema.xml") against the namespace URI.  Similarly for any
other data that may be desired.

Given such an approach, which provides a structure for defaults
yet allows them to be overridden, there's no reason the namespace
URI can't be one factor used to retrieve schemas and other data.

>	Perhaps we could
> turn the tables :) and ask, why is it so important to use the namespace URI
> to retrieve the schema instead of something else, such as a PI, a special
> attribute, or the aforementioned hub document?

It's a good question.  My suspicion is since that it's a lot less
error prone to have _one_ place with the default definitions which
tie a complex set of interrelated policies together, people think
that's naturally the role the _one_ URI for a namespace should take.

But again, that one place doesn't need to be the namespace URI; it's
just that it is already defined, seems handy, hasn't clearly been
placed off-limits ... and no other such place has been defined.

I'd probably build on some other sort of integration solution which
took advantage of namespaces (like XSL stylesheets -- CSS doesn't!)
but used namespace URIs as seemingly designed:  for unique tokens.

- Dave

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