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WD-webarch-20031209: Ignoring the unknown as a default action

From: C. M. Sperberg-McQueen <cmsmcq@acm.org>
Date: 05 Mar 2004 00:13:40 +0100
To: W3C TAG mailing list <public-webarch-comments@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1078442020.2571.15.camel@localhost>

1.2.2 para 5 ("Ideally, many ...").  I think the end of the paragraph
would be more persuasive if "ignore" and "treat as error" were not the
only examples given of default processing rules.  The "ignore"
approach is (as formulated here and elsewhere) an oversimplification.
It is both underspecified and excessively specific.  Underspecified,
because most proponents do not distinguish between ignoring the
unknown element and ignoring the tags which mark the beginning and
ending of the unknown element, and some participants in the discussion
fail to understand the difference, as is illustrated by the following
paragraph of this document. Excessively specific, because ignoring is
not the only plausible default processing rule, and in many contexts
it's easy to think of a better. A pretty-printer should use its
default line-break and indentation rules; a search system should use
its default indexing rules; an editor should use its default display;
a transformation system should perform the identity transform, or
suppress the element (is this the same as 'ignoring' it? I don't think
so), or perform another default action (such as the default action
specified by XSLT).  These do not all seem to me to be the same as
"ignoring" either the element or the tags.
Received on Thursday, 4 March 2004 18:14:31 UTC

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