Musing over Namespaces

Len Bullard cbullard at
Thu Dec 16 21:27:15 GMT 1999

David Megginson wrote:
> It's messy, but it's the only standards path that really seems to
> work.  At least with Namespaces we can remove 50% of the messiness
> (there's no chance of confusing different party's extensions) on the
> way to standards Nirvana.

I think not.  The standards path is complete once the means to create 
and identify the namespace is possible.  What now needs to happen is 
for the technologists to create means by which company registries of 
namesspaces can be accessed and negotiated with such that for any
the ROA namespaces can be declared.  OASIS and BIZTALK may be good 
libraries, may provide examples, but trying even at the UN level to 
standardize everyone's local names or names of exchange is a foolish 
if goodhearted errand.  It is not the way to do it right.  It 
is not the path to success.  It is the way that standards wonks 
think, but I doubt it works as well as registry negotiation.  
If Microsoft wants to be a good partner, provide technology and 
some startup templates, then get out of the way.  If OASIS wants 
to thrive, teach the means, do not arbitrate.  Powertrips are 
not attractive.  Education is seductive.  Influence is more powerful 
than rules.

> I'm going to write a paper with a catchy title on this topic some day,
> so that I can make US$45M like Eric Raymond just did from "The
> Cathedral and the Bazaar."

"Green green it's green they say on the far side of the hill.
Green green I'm going away to where the grass is greener still."


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