XML: XLink, XPointer, Namespaces Working Drafts

From owner-xml-l@LISTSERV.HEA.IE Sat Mar 28 14:29:22 1998
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 12:17:36 -0800
From: Jon Bosak <Jon.Bosak@ENG.SUN.COM>
Subject: Important XML announcements: [links, pointers, namespaces]

In the bustle of XML-related conference and work group activities over the last few weeks, it's possible that the world at large has received insufficient notice of a couple of significant developments in the realm of XML specifications in progress. In order to make sure that no one with an interest misses the news, therefore, please be aware of the following:

1. Revisions of the working drafts relating to XML linking are available to the public from the W3C web site at:

These are the first publicly available updates to the work in progress on XML linking in many months. Note that the previous single working draft has now been split up into two separate working drafts covering linking mechanisms and addressing mechanisms and a note covering design principles.

2. The first working draft of "Namespaces in XML" has just been made available at:


In order to meet urgent requirements from other W3C working groups, the W3C XML WG intends to move the Namespace WD to the status of a Proposed Recommendation as soon as possible. The document is open to public comment in the forums to which this message has been posted, but please note the following points:

A. Implementation at this point is at your own risk. As stated at the beginning of the draft itself:

This draft specification is a work in progress representing the current consensus of the W3C XML Working Group. This is a W3C Working Draft for review by W3C members and other interested parties. Publication as a working draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C membership. While we do not anticipate substantial changes, we still caution that further changes are possible and therefore we recommend that only experimental software or software that can be easily field-upgraded be implemented to this specification at this time. The XML Working Group will not allow early implementation to constrain their ability to make changes to this specification prior to final release. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite W3C Working Drafts as other than "work in progress".

B. The provisional status of the draft notwithstanding, it should be noted that the urgent need for this specification on the part of working groups in both the W3C and the IETF makes it extremely unlikely that any changes to the draft beyond the repair of outright errors will be made for the Proposed Recommendation of Version 1.0 of the specification.

C. It is the current intention of the XML WG to attempt the promotion of the Namespaces WD to Proposed Recommendation by the beginning of May. This allows just one month for public comment.

D. It will save a great deal of unnecessary bandwidth to understand the circumstances under which Version 1.0 of the Namespaces draft has been developed. Given the extraordinary depth of the problem that the specification begins to address, the importance of solving that problem correctly, the lack of implementation experience in this area, and the need for a quick first cut for use by activities depending on the specification, the XML WG has taken it as a guiding principle to specify just the absolute minimum needed to meet the immediate requirements. This means that a number of fairly obvious aspects of naming that one would expect to be addressed in the specification have quite deliberately been left unspecified for Version 1.0. Thus, comments pointing out the failure of Version 1.0 to address particular features are in general unnecessary and will likely be ignored. Persons wishing to make useful contributions to the public review of the draft should confine their comments to pointing out broken places in those mechanisms that the draft provides rather than suggesting additional ones.

Jon Bosak

Chairman, W3C XML WG

P.S. Never send comments about XML specifications to me personally. I won't read them.

 Jon Bosak, Online Information Technology Architect, Sun Microsystems
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