This Version:January 18, 2004
Latest Version: http://www.rddl.org/rddl2
Previous Version: February 18, 2002
This document is a working draft that contains substantial input from the W3C Technical Architecture Group, produced in connection with the work on its issue namespaceDocument-8. It is the consensus of the TAG that RDDL is a suitable format for use as a "Namespace Document", that is to say as a representation yielded by dereferencing a URI in use as an XML Namespace Name. While this document has no official standing, it is the intention of the TAG to seek guidance from the W3C membership and the larger community on the question of whether and how to progress this document and the use of RDDL.
This document describes the Resource Directory Description Language (RDDL). A RDDL document, called a Resource Directory, provides a package of information about some target, including:
The Resource Directory Description Language is an extension of XHTML Basic 1.0 with two added
attributes of the
a element named
The Resource Directory Description Language was initially proposed and specified after discussion on the xml-dev mailing list. RDDL reflects contributions from many participants in the xml-dev mailing list
This document has no official standing and has not been considered nor approved by any organization.
A Resource Directory implements links to related resources using the XHTML
a element, enriched by two attributes in the namespace identified by
http://www.rddl.org/ (identified in this discussion by the
rddl). The attributes are named
rddl:purpose, and an XHTML
a element is considered to be
an entry in the resource directory if either or both of these attributes are present.
Note that there is a rich assortment of other attributes defined by HTML for the
a element, to provide information about its title, language, traversal
and so on; their use is encouraged in Resource Directories.
Related resources have a nature, a machine-readable label
provided by the value of the
rddl:nature attribute. For example,
the nature of an XML Schema designed for use with a namespace would be given as
In cases where there is only one resource with a particular nature, the purpose of the linked resource may be inferred from this nature. For example, if there is only one related resource for a particular namespace whose nature indicates that it is a schema, processing software might infer that its purpose is to validate elements in that namespace.
The value of this attribute must be a URI reference, which must be converted to absolute form before being used. It provides a machine-readable identifier for the nature of the related resource. Software may dispatch on this value.
When the related resource is an XML language for which a namespace name has been defined, and for which the namespace name adequately distinguishes the nature of the resource, the namespace name should be used as its nature.
When the related resource is not an XML document but is adequately distinguished
by a MIME type, the value of the
rddl:nature attribute may reflect
this MIME type with values formed by the concatenation of the
with a MIME type e.g.
It is anticipated that many related-resource natures will be well known. A list of well-known natures may be found in the Resource Directoryhttp://www.rddl.org/natures.
If a purpose but no nature is provided for a related resource, the default value
Related resources may have a purpose, a machine-readable label
provided by the value of the
rddl:purpose attribute. The purpose is
designed to convey the intended usage of the related resource. For example, two
related resources might have natures that indicate they are both schemas, but
the purposes might indicate that one is designed to validate the "strict"
version of the language, the other the "forgiving" form.
The value of this attribute must be a URI reference, which must be converted to absolute form before being used. It provides a machine-readable identifier for the purpose of the link to the related resource. Software may dispatch on this value.
It is anticipated that the purposes of many related resources will be well known. A list of well-known purposes may be found in the Resource Directoryhttp://www.rddl.org/purposes.