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Re: Error handling in URIs

From: Charles Lindsey <chl@clerew.man.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 11:12:27 +0100
To: URI <uri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.udcpa1lp6hl8nm@clerew.man.ac.uk>

On Wed, 25 Jun 2008 21:40:06 +0100, Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:

> On Wed, 25 Jun 2008, Charles Lindsey wrote:
>> >
>> > Well there's no question that it's invalid, the question is what  
>> should
>> > browsers do with it.
>> Essentially, it is up to the browser what it accepts.
> That's one option, though it's not the way we've done things in HTML5 so
> far (for example we define how to parse any arbitrary byte stream).

And that is exactly where you make your great mistake. That attitude is  
the exact cause of the mess we are currently in, where websites have to  
declare that "This site is designed to be read by IE", or else they have  
to include tests for the browser that is reading them and to modify their  
behaviour accordingly. Which means that they probably do not work at all  
for browsers they have never heard of (and particularly those which  
implement exactly what the standards say).

It is the same mistake made by the designers of PL/1 where they tried to  
invent a new "feature" to provide a meaning for every construct that  
should have been syntactically disallowed, so that compilers failed to  
spot obvious programming errors and, instead, produced (correct but)  
entirely improbable behaviours (the "Law off Greatest Astonishment").
>> But in the meantime, a sensible strategy for a browser whose pages were
>> published in iso-8859-99 (whatever that might be) to accept IRIs/URIs
>> (and especially queries) %-encoded into iso-8859-99; but also, *in
>> addition* to convert incoming UTF-8 (whether in IRIs or %-encoded in
>> URIs) to its own iso-8859-99.
> Well, as noted before, the actual behaviour we need to spec isn't really
> up for debate; browsers have already more or less converged on a
> behaviour. The original question (now answered) was merely which spec
> would define this. (HTML5 now defines it.)

But if the current actual behaviours do not actually work, then it is far  
better for your document to specify new (or additional) behaviours that  
would in fact work better.

Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
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Received on Thursday, 26 June 2008 10:13:04 UTC

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