Another look at namespaces

Don Park donpark at
Thu Sep 16 19:22:03 BST 1999

>With all due respect to Simon St. Laurent, I believe that Tim
>was correctly precise when he wrote "the document corresponding to the
>namespace URI becomes
>the place where the namespace-author can put *definitive*
>information about the intent of the namespace."  (Emphasis in
>the original).


Allow me to observe that:

1. 'Can' does not make 'Must' nor 'Should'.
2. 'Intent' of a namespace is not necessarily same as 'Schema'.

I believe that:

1. A namespace is empty of meaning beyond being distinguishable from other
2. A name within a namespace is also meaningless beyond being
distinguishable from other names in the namespace.
3. Meaning of a name requires a frame of reference.

While a schema can be a frame of reference for the meaning of a name, a
family of schemas can be used as well.  I believe this is precisely what
should happen with the 'family' of XHTML schemas.

Everything you stated depends on the assumption that a direct relationship
exists between a namespace and a schema.  I believe you can state the same
if there was a direct relationship between a namespace and a family of
schemas.  We currently do not have a formal mechanism to define a family of
schemas, but if there was, we should be able to define relationships between
the member schemas as well the membership requirements.  One happy family


Don Park    -   mailto:donpark at
Docuverse   -

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