Just require URLs

Hunter, David dhunter at Mobility.com
Mon May 31 20:07:35 BST 1999

Tim Bray writes:
> At 10:04 AM 5/31/99 -0800, Carl Hage wrote:
> >Turn it around-- it would be intrinsically <em>good</em> to require
> >all namespaces to reference a retrievable document. 
> In early examples, this is what is happening - most namespace 
> URLs that
> people are actually using typically point to a human-readable document
> explaining what the namespace is about.  Seems like good practice.
> Hard to enforce, though.  Worthwhile trying?  Can we expect to see
> litigation over the quality of the documentation, or the fact that 
> it's provided only in some particular human language?  -Tim

If there is going to be a namespace to distinguish <my:Blah/> from
<your:Blah/>, then that probably means that I'm expecting other people to
use my XML format to mark up their data.  (If nobody is ever going to see my
XML format but my own application, then I don't need a namespace.)  And if
my XML format is going to be shared to others, then it will probably have a
DTD, or a Schema.  So why not have the namespace URL link to that DTD/Schema
by convention?  It would only be a convention, of course, it wouldn't really
be worthwhile to try and enforce that, or to force all XML formats to have a
DTD or Schema, but I'm sure it would be handy, and it would eliminate the
problem of deciding which language to use for your documentation.


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