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Re: Status of algorithms

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 21:26:09 +0200
To: "Rotan Hanrahan" <rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com>, public-webapi@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.tt6n9vx064w2qv@annevk-t60.oslo.opera.com>

On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 18:11:25 +0200, Rotan Hanrahan  
<rotan.hanrahan@mobileaware.com> wrote:
> I am concerned by subtle conflicts in the normative text. For example,  
> you read the following:
>
> "The value of the text response entity body MUST be determined by  
> running the following algorithm:"
>
> The use of MUST as per RFC 2119 in this text makes the algorithm  
> Normative, while the text you quote says: "User agents MAY optimize any  
> algorithm..."

Yes, they are not required to do so. What it basically says is that user  
agents are free to implement the specification in any way they want as  
long as they return the same results as the specification would for all  
possible inputs. We can't even always tell what algorithms they have used  
to implement the functionality. For instance, with closed source  
implementations. The statement is there just to avoid confusion. (The  
sentence is in fact taken from the XBL 2.0 specification as suggested by  
someone during the Last Call phase.)


> I fully accept that it is intended that optimizations will be permitted.  
> It's just a formulation of the text that caused a little confusion for  
> me. The normative text: "The value of the text response entity body MUST  
> be determined by running the following algorithm," doesn't give the  
> necessary flexibility that is intended.

Could you give an example that shows why this is not the case?


-- 
Anne van Kesteren
<http://annevankesteren.nl/>
<http://www.opera.com/>
Received on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 19:26:12 GMT

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