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RE: ZIP-based packages and URI references into them ODF proposal

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 17:06:50 -0500
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com>, Bill McCoy <bmccoy@adobe.com>, Carl Cargill <cargill@adobe.com>, "eduardo.gutentag@oasis-open.org" <eduardo.gutentag@oasis-open.org>, "Henry.Story@Sun.COM" <Henry.Story@sun.com>, Jon Ferraiolo <jferrai@us.ibm.com>, Marcos Caceres <marcosscaceres@gmail.com>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Michael Stahl <Michael.Stahl@sun.com>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, public-webapps <public-webapps@w3.org>, Richard Cohn <rcohn@adobe.com>, Svante Schubert <Svante.Schubert@sun.com>, Stephen Zilles <szilles@adobe.com>, "www-archive@w3.org" <www-archive@w3.org>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, www-tag-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF694EA7AF.FD021AEE-ON8525751B.0078E953-8525751B.00797A65@lotus.com>

Ian Hickson wrote:

> I believe that the difference between these two states is the difference 

> between looking at specifications as "definitions of protocol, format, 
> language" vs "implementation functional specifications". The 
> former gives 
> us a neat set of orthogonal specifications that seem quite 
> simple, but in 
> practice, what we need for quality software is the latter.

Do you mean that to be true in general, or are you just saying that you 
think it's the case more often than some others in the community believe 
it to be.

Question:  do you believe that the specification for ASCII would best be 
done as in implementation functional specification?  That suggests that, 
rather than publishing, say, a table of integers and their mapping to 
characters, it would be better to write a specification for a piece of 
code that consumes ASCII, to explain what to do if it finds a character 
that isn't ASCII (perhaps because it accepts 16 bit values, but considers 
them valid only if the high order byte is 0)?  Maybe a separate 
specification or chapters for producers of ASCII?

Don't get me wrong:  you're discussing an important tradeoff and I'm not 
suggesting that you're wrong in all cases (you're clearly not) or even 
that you're necessarily wrong in the case of HTML 5 (I think I've 
expressed before that I think we would do well to have BOTH a 
specification for the language and for the common implementation.)   I do 
think that your statement as quoted above goes much further than I believe 
is true, or perhaps than you intended.  I also think that languages like 
XML are in many ways similar to ASCII with respect to purposes of this 
discussion.  HTML is less clearcut in this respect, because of the 
Javascript capability.



Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 22:07:37 UTC

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