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Re: The robustness principle, as view by user agent implementors (Re: Working Group Last Call: draft-ietf-httpbis-content-disp-02)

From: Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 13:30:07 -0700
Message-ID: <AANLkTimzAz+__giKU-RQLJqsYA953LzQs84fcNJU=nOw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
On Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 1:18 PM, Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net> wrote:
> * Adam Barth wrote:
>>Thanks for your thoughtful message.  There's a cultural gap here that
>>sometimes makes it difficult to understand why user agent implementors
>>have a different perspective from server operators on some issues.  In
>>this message, I'll try to explain why we have the perspective we do.
>
> You have an idea how to make the specification better. Submit convincing
> evidence that the specification will indeed be better and I will most
> certainly support your change proposal. So far you have neither made a
> reasonable change proposal, nor have you submitted convincing evidence.

Concretely, my proposal is that the specification should not forbid
user agents from %-decoding the value of the filename parameter.
Julian has agreed that neither Internet Explorer nor Chrome is going
to stop %-decoding the filename parameter anytime soon.  Forbidding
user agent from processing these messages in this way is fiction.

Now, I'm fine with forbidding servers from generating %-encoded
values.  In fact, I believe that would be desirable.  However, just
because we forbid servers from generating the values does not mean
that we must also forbid user agents from consuming them.

> I have explained to you what I would find a reasonable change proposal
> that would seem to address your concern, and I have given you reasonably
> objective criteria for what I would find good evidence to support such a
> change proposal. There is no cultural gap here, everyone requires good
> change proposals and good evidence to support them to make changes. So,
> do submit evidence. Do not submit evidence and I will go by my own data,
> which satify me that your objection is wrong. So, do submit evidence.

The problem is your change proposal focuses on uncovering the set of
messages with the same meaning in all semantics.  While that is of
interest to servers (generators), that's not of particular interest to
user agent implementors, as explained before.  Instead, user agent
implementors are interested in the largest set of messages generated
by at least one server that can be interpreted with a single semantic
theory.

Adam
Received on Sunday, 3 October 2010 20:31:12 GMT

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