When you do a state activate for a namespace, you get prompted as follows:
Would you like to make orgl/proj your default project?
This will allow you to operate on your project and run executables provided by its runtime without first “activating” it.
This appears to be incorrect. From my testing, it appears you always need to do a state activate. However, if you make the namespace the default, then you can omit the namespace when you do state activate.