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From "J.Pietschmann" <>
Subject Re: antlib / proposal of Peter Reilly
Date Wed, 21 May 2003 18:59:45 GMT
Costin Manolache wrote:
> That's consistent with most of the current uses of XML namespaces - you
> don't see users picking their favorite XHTML or XSLT namespace URI. 

To elaborate on this: the original intention of namespaces
was to provide universal names for elements. This means
  <a:section xmlns:a="">
is a XHTML section, which is diffferent from the docbook
simplified section
  <a:section xmlns:a="">
which is in turn different from every element  with the
local name "section" in any other namespace.
Think of the namespace name (the URI, not the prefix) as
part of the universal, galactic wide unique element name.
(actual URIs for the samples above may differ).

> I can add more - but I'm curious about the reverse, why would you consider
> letting the users pick the namespace URI ?

Indeed, especially considered that the namespace prefix may
already be arbitrarily choosen. Picking the namespace URI (more
correctly: the namespace name) makes only sense if semantics
other than identification is associated with it. The crowd over
there at XML-DEV consistently argues against this. It may seem
natural to use the namespace name to point to something (i.e.
use it for location rather than identification), but the namespace
spec authors recommended to use URIs for namespace names because
URIs are the closest things to universal names we currently have,
and not because there's something interesting at the other end.
The problem is that everyone expects something different at the
other end of the namespace: some want to point it to a schema
for the vocabulary, some like to find an XHTML description, others
prefer some sort of RSS metadescription, and on this list, surprise,
an implementation class or a Jar seems to be a favorite.


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