W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > May 2007

Re: Support Existing Content

From: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Date: Sat, 05 May 2007 06:48:18 -0700
Message-ID: <463C8B22.6050106@sicking.cc>
To: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org

Terje Bless wrote:
> 
> jonas@sicking.cc (Jonas Sicking) wrote:
> 
>> However, another effect of draconian error handling is that a lot fewer
>> people are able to produce content in the language.
> 
> Without making an argument either way in the so-called “draconian” 
> issue, the days of the average user editing “web pages,” “blogs,” or 
> “sites” in a text editor are numbered. The vast majority of the world's 
> population will never type in a tag name, much less a pointy bracket, 
> and ensuring that the basic syntax is “well formed” is the least of 
> problems for an authoring tool.

I agree that a lot of people that publish content on the web will never 
write any markup. However there are still lots and lots of server 
generated content that is produced by concatenating strings from various 
sources. All php, asp, and similar solutions do exactly that. And in 
these cases it is very easy to run though a code path that forgets to 
add an end tag or that forgets to escape a value using the right 
escaping mechanism. So I think creating "well formed" markup is still 
something that is still a problem.

> Thus, the way to lower the barrier for more and more diverse content 
> production for the web can equally be argued to lie down the road of 
> “draconian error handling” as the opposite.

I still don't quite get this argument. Why does error handling make it 
easier or harder to write conforming content? If you write conforming 
content error handling won't even be invoked.

> I might suggest dropping the appellation “draconian” as I suspect it 
> only serves to polarize the discussions. There are probably good sound 
> middle grounds to these issues along any number of axis.

I certainly wouldn't mind dropping the discussion as long as we went 
with non-draconian ;)

But I'm definitely interested in hearing what problems you're trying to 
solve using draconian handling so that we can make sure to solve them 
some other way.

/ Jonas
Received on Saturday, 5 May 2007 13:48:27 UTC

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