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Re: Why Microsoft's authoritative=true won't work and is a bad idea

From: Henrik Nordstrom <henrik@henriknordstrom.net>
Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2008 00:46:29 +0200
To: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1215470789.20418.177.camel@henriknordstrom.net>
On mån, 2008-07-07 at 14:21 -0400, Boris Zbarsky wrote:

> Excuse me?  "Ignorance"?  Everyone involved knew exactly what they were doing. 
> There were just no good solutions; the small amount of sniffing added seemed 
> like the least bad of a set of bad choices.

I obviously disagree, but that's my opinion.

> The specifications, the UAs, and the servers should change such that:

I'll add

0) The specifications makes sense and unambious to implement

> 1)  The UAs implement the specification.
> 2)  The servers implement the specification.
> 3)  The specification defines error-handling.
> 4)  The ensemble is a stable equilibrium (Ideally no one has incentive to
>      change behavior).
> 5)  At no point in between here and there is a UA required to do something
>      that would cause its users to stop using it (an obvious non-starter
>      from a UA point of view).
> 6)  At no point in between here and there is a server required to do
>      something that would cause administrators to stop using it (also an
>      obvious non-starter, I would think).

Yes, with some reservations for 5 & 6. I do expect UAs and servers to be
willing to correct bugs, even if correcting those bugs would cause some
slight interoperability issues with other broken implementations at the
benefit of enabling correct interoperability with correct
implementations. Even if this results in some users shifting one way or
another.

> I have no opinion as to what the final state should be, subject to the above 
> constraints.

I have some opinions, based on

  - Simplicity.

  - No second-guessing or non-obvious sideeffects. If something is said
it is said and should be trusted to be correct.

  - Consistent. As few special cases as possible.

> That's an empirical observation of the last 10 years, for what it's worth, not 
> just a "think".  If you think the next 10 years will somehow be different, I'd 
> love to know why.

Been in this business for more than 10 years, and have not yet lost
faith in the ability to work for a more standardized and predictable
computing environment.

But if standardisation discussions in general tend to focus on "making
current broken implementations the standardized status and assuming all
implementations will be broken in the same way" instead of what makes
sense from a long term technical standard point of view then things will
certainly spin in the direction of worse.

Regards
Henrik

Received on Monday, 7 July 2008 22:47:33 GMT

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