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Re: Comments on GRDDL (using 3rd-party XML schemas with GRDDL) [OK?]

From: Norman Gray <norman@astro.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2007 11:23:37 +0100
Message-Id: <B6B7BDC7-FD6D-41A5-B7CD-CAEC5F63EDC7@astro.gla.ac.uk>
Cc: ogbujic@ccf.org, "Jonathan Robie" <jonathan.robie@redhat.com>, "Andrew Eisenberg" <andrew.eisenberg@us.ibm.com>, public-grddl-comments@w3.org, w3c-xsl-query@w3.org
To: "C. M. Sperberg-McQueen" <cmsmcq@acm.org>

On 8 Aug 2007, at 20:10, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen wrote:

> (But my experience suggests that "may not"
> can be ambiguous for some users between the meanings "must not"
> and "may or may not"; you might consider saying something like "it
> is possible that the result of applying the transformations identified
> in these schemas will not be a faithful rendition" or something like
> that.

Emphatically so.  I think the only people for whom this is _not_  
ambiguous are those who have memorised RFC2119.  I'm a standards  
junkie and I still get 'may not' the wrong way round (that is, I  
always initially parse it as 'must not'[1]).

Perhaps it's a transatlantic thing, but I feel it would be a lot  
clearer if 'may not' were avoided in careful prose, and replaced by  
whichever of 'must not' and 'might not' is appropriate.  Or  
periphrasis: `...may be an unfaithful rendition'.

Note that although 'must not' and 'should not' are described in  
RFC2119, 'may not' isn't mentioned; I feel this is significant.

Best wishes,


[1] The use of 'may not' in this particular context happens to be  
reasonably clear, but that doesn't subtract from the general point.

Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
eurovotech.org  :  University of Leicester, UK

Received on Thursday, 9 August 2007 10:24:04 UTC

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