Overloaded URIs

Andrew Layman andrewl at microsoft.com
Mon May 24 21:05:43 BST 1999

Nikita Ogievetsky points out that the XSL namespace URI recognized by the
MSXML parser is "http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-xsl", and that the specification
referenced by that URI at the time the parser was written is not the
specification found there now.  I believe that the W3C is aware of the
problem created by URIs to changing content, and has implemented new
document naming policies so that stable URIs are now available, so this sort
of problem should be avoidable in the future.

Nikita also observes that it is natural for humans to read prefix names as
descriptive of their function, for example expecting "xsl:" to be a prefix
standing for the URI of the XSL specification.  Indeed, this is a major aid
to human readers -- an important constituency! -- but this is nothing new to
XML: It has always been good programming practice to name variables and
functions meaningfully.  This does not, however, require a central registry
of good names; merely moderately intelligent authors suffices.

I hope this is helpful,
Andrew Layman

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