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We did good.

From: Yaron Goland <yarong@microsoft.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 01:43:14 -0800
Message-ID: <3FF8121C9B6DD111812100805F31FC0D08792BF5@RED-MSG-59>
To: "W3c-Dist-Auth (E-mail)" <w3c-dist-auth@w3.org>
I remember painting my parent's house. I was pretty young then, probably 12
or 13. I remember the section I painted. I could see every flaw. Every brush
stroke that wasn't quite even. Every area whose coat of paint wasn't quite
as thick as the other areas. The flaws just stared at me and I stared back,
disappointed with my work. That is the problem with being a perfectionist,
you just see the flaws. No one else ever saw the flaws. It wasn't that they
weren't there, it was that they didn't matter. The overall job was a good
one and the result was pleasing to the eye and provided proper protection to
the underlying surfaces.

Going through the process of reviewing WebDAV's design is a lot like
painting that house. You can see every flaw. In a standard this complex,
there are more than enough flaws to go around. The real problem is that it
is extremely difficult to write about what you got right. First of all, you
sound like you're boasting, a crime in this society. But more than that, you
don't "know" you got something right. All you really know is that it hasn't
broken yet. Testing for correctness, telling the difference between, will
break, good enough, better than good and brilliant, is something we haven't
figured out yet. There is an entire field of computer science which deals
with correctness and as the quality of the average piece of software will
tell you, we don't know Jack.

But I will share a secret with you, we did good. 

Our standard has been reviewed by more learned people for longer than just
about any other standard you can imagine. In fact we have had so much review
and implementation experience that I would estimate we are about six months
away from meeting the implementation qualifications for draft standard. The
testament to the quality of our work is the implementations. There are now
no less than four declared DAV servers and three declared DAV clients. They
don't all work together quite correctly yet but so far the problems have
been mostly bugs and minor misunderstandings. That is the greatest testament
to the quality of our work.

So give yourself a pat on the back. Yes, you. You, the members of this
working group. You who read through the deluges of mail. You who read
through no less than 10 revisions of WebDAV in this working group and many
of you who read the previous six or seven produced before there even was a
working group. You did good. The quality shows.


		And thank you, thank you for your time, thank you for your
efforts and thank you for your passion.

			The world is a little bit more interoperable than it
was yesterday.

Received on Thursday, 24 December 1998 04:43:16 UTC

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