[mnot:weblog] Are Namespaces Necessary? Answer: Nope.

by M. David Peterson

Well, not in this case anyway...

mnot's Web log: Are Namespaces (and mU) Necessary?

It's become axiomatic in some circles -- especially in WS-* land, as well as in many other uses of XML -- that the preferred (or only) means of offering extensibility is through URI-based namespaces, along with a flag to tell consumers when an extension needs to be understood (a.k.a. mustUnderstand).

The reasoning is that extensibility should be as easy as possible. By leveraging one registry -- DNS -- you can use URIs to allow anyone to create your own uniquely identified vocabulary, without any overhead of co-ordination.

This is often contrasted (and deemed superior) to the approach of the IETF, which uses IANA to manage many a namespace, requiring prospective registrants to jump through a variety of hoops to get in.

For those unaware, I am one who preaches to anyone willing to listen, or not listen for that matter, that without XML Namespaces, extensibility is a pipe dream. As such, why am I now suggesting this is no longer the case?