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Re: informal survey - on spec philosophy

From: Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 16:52:07 -0600
Message-ID: <CACQ=j+eT59Mw90HParkDWtjia=5oJAb-3jsOGfOO=gtgpEUyKA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: WebApps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>
On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM, Glenn Adams <glenn@skynav.com> wrote:
> > It has been stated to me that, at least for "open web platform
> standards",
> > the following statement is true and is shared by the majority:
> >
> > "if it isn't written in the spec, it isn't allowed by the spec"
> >
> > I happen to disagree with the truth of this, based on my personal
> experience
> > both with spec writing and with implementation/use of specs, but I would
> be
> > curious to see who agrees with this idea or not.
> >
> > The case in point is an instance of a possible ambiguity in a spec
> because a
> > particular assumption/convention is not documented; i.e., an assumption
> that
> > something isn't allowed even though it isn't explicitly disallowed.
> While I
> > agree it is, in general, impossible (or at least impractical) to document
> > all disallowances, I do believe it is important to document important
> > disallowances, particular when there are concerns raised about spec
> > ambiguity.
> The statement you quoted is more or less accurate.  Behavior that
> isn't specced is almost certain to not be interoperable.  If the spec
> is incomplete or unclear in some aspect, that's a spec bug, not an
> opportunity for implementations to make up their own behavior based on
> what the engineer thinks is reasonable at the time they're writing the
> code.

however, that is exactly what implementers do every day... especially those
not closely connected with the spec process
Received on Monday, 26 March 2012 22:52:55 UTC

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