Berners-Lee throws open the Namespace issue, responds to the "Pope"
14:14, 15 May 2000 UTC | Edd Dumbill

Tim Berners-Lee has opened up the XML and Namespace URI issue to a wider audience, creating a mail list to discuss whether namespaces should be URIs in their fuller sense, rather than purely being opaque strings.

Berners-Lee wrote:

This is a list set up - possible for a short term - to hold the discussion of whether XML namespaces should be URIs. Or, from my point of view, to persuade people of the importance of URIs in namespaces. I am using this mailing list, instead of just writing a note, because it seems the differences in understanding are of the sort which need a back and forth to resolve.

The list, hosted at the W3C, is archived online and can be joined by sending a message to with the subject line "subscribe".

Noting that his reason for setting up the list ("So when a set of intelligent and thoughtful people produce specifications which do not reference the URI spec for their global identifiers, then clearly I need to understand their thoughts.") Berners-Lee goes on to make the case for the use of URIs as namespace identifiers.

In a subsequent post, he responded to the anonymous poster "Pope32767". Berners-Lee acknowledged the description of the problem currently afflicting the W3C, and addressed some of the personal comments made regarding his position. He defended his stance of not making a unilateral decision on the issue:

No one likes to be held up like this over a fundamental point, but making the decision arbitrary to save time is not a solution IMHO. By saying the lack of decision is a problem you speak for everyone.

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