Namespaces are computer science practices used for naming and identifying various objects (in the large sense of the term) ; they occur in several shapes, they are used to achieve different goals, and various naming conventions are applied on them. For example :
- to specify an object class: org.w3c.dom.Element
- to identify a document: urn:oasis:names:tc:entity:xmlns:xml:catalog
- to stand for a parameter or a feature: http://xml.org/sax/features/validation
- to point to a generic transformation process: http://www-sop.inria.fr/acacia/soft/RDFa2RDFXML_v_0_6.xsl
By taking into account the amount of software, the number of specifications and projects lead by INRIA that are using such a mechanism, INRIA supplies this server as a place holder for namespaces defined by projects, services, or individual working at INRIA. People are encouraged to define their own namespaces based on the current URL http://ns.inria.fr/ or http://ns.inria.org/ ("ns" stands for "namespace", and has been choosen to have the shortest base URL).