Musing over Namespaces

Don Park donpark at
Tue Dec 14 19:36:13 GMT 1999

I am in the habit of musing over what seems obvious to
most people.  My latest musing was over XML Namespaces.

I started with the question: "Why isn't there namespaces
in normal languages like English?"  A boring and divergent

I moved on to more interesting question: "What if English
language used namespaces?"  There are several ways to
interpret this question but the most interesting is this:
"What is the social impact of using namespaces in English
or any other spoken/written language?"

My answer was: massive fragmentation of society.

I have a feeling that the answer to above question is
important to understanding the impact of namespaces in XML.

Here are some of the side questions I asked myself:

Is it really a 'good thing' to have namespaces in XML?  What
ill effect will it have on XML's future?  Why can't the
semantic of '<name>' be determined purely by context?  What
is wrong with using just <html> to distinguish HTML's use of
'a' tag?  Is the ability to inject attributes from other
namespaces really useful?  What is the possitive effect of
having just one namespace?  Why can't we have central
registry of XML names?

What do you all think?  I would be very much interested in
your answers.


Don Park    -   mailto:donpark at
Docuverse   -

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