Musing over Namespaces

David Megginson david at
Thu Dec 16 21:58:30 GMT 1999

Len Bullard writes:

 > 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 contract, the ROA namespaces can be declared.

I've noticed this assumption behind a lot of the Namespace-related
postings (not just Len's) -- I guess it would be a good thing to have
a global resolution mechanism of some kind, but I'm surprised that
people consider Namespaces incomplete without this.  

After all, there's nothing similar for (say) Java or Perl package
names, and while having something like that would be convenient (and
CPAN is very nice as far as it goes), the absence of a global
resolution mechanism for figuring out what org.xml.sax or XML::Parser
means doesn't seem to inhibit useful work in Java or Perl.

Why is XML different?  Is it just that we come from the SGML
background, where we consider structural validation to be part of a
document rather than a process applied to it, or is there some kind of
a fundamental difference between naming code and naming document
nodes that no one has articulated yet?

 > > 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."

No, that's too long -- I need something shorter and catchier.

All the best,


David Megginson                 david at

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as: and on CD-ROM/ISBN 981-02-3594-1
To unsubscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
unsubscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list