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entity-resolution message

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Subject: Re: Catalog requirements

/ John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com> was heard to say:
| Okay, I will return the serve by objecting to the following requirements
| as unnecessary, painful, and generally un-British ("a very ancient word
| meaning *very bad indeed*" -- Cordwainer Smith, _Norstrilia_):
|       The catalog must provide the ability to map system identifiers to URIs.

In catalog parlance this is the SYSTEM keyword. You don't want to
support SYSTEM? I do, I want

  <!DOCTYPE book
    SYSTEM "http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/xml/4.1.2/docbookx.dtd">

to resolve to /share/doctypes/docbook/xml/docbookx.dtd on my system.

|       The catalog must provide the ability to map notation names to URIs.
|       The catalog must provide the ability to map entity names to URIs.

Fair enough. Given that XML doesn't allow naked notations or entities,
they're not really necessary for XML.

|       The catalog must provide the ability to map URIs to alternate URIs
|            (for example, namespace names).

I agree that it's way too general as written; I included it mostly to
make sure we talk about another issue that Lauren is keen on but that
I haven't really been able to fully understand.

My gloss on the issue is as follows. Consider this instance:

  <?xml version='1.0'?>
  <doc xmlns="http://example.com/xmlns/namespace">

If I hand that to a processor, it might want to validate the document.
In order to do that, it's going to have to know what schema is
associated with that namespace. Shouldn't we provide some mechanism
for addressing this problem?

The real problem, alas, is that Namespaces[1] says you can't do
anything with that namespace name except literal comparison.  Of
course, some people want to put XML Schemas[2] there, but it would be
just as valid to put a Modula-3 class library there as far as I can

                                        Be seeing you,

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml-names/
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema-1/
Norman.Walsh@East.Sun.COM | Simplicity is always a virtue.--Edward Abbey
XML Technology Center     | 
Sun Microsystems, Inc.    | 

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