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Re: Error handling in XML

From: Digitome Ltd. <digitome@iol.ie>
Date: Sun, 20 Apr 1997 08:57:08 +0100
Message-Id: <199704200820.JAA29656@mail.iol.ie>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
[Sean]
>>A partial document is *not* a useless thing. One of the cool things about 
>>XML as a document format is that some of the content can be recovered 
>> even in the face of error. 
[Peter]
>But the whole point of Tim's suggestion is that the user _wouldn't_ get
>a recoverable portion after the first error.

Yes and I dont think this will fly. .The big M/N may see the virtues of UA's
having
"warnings = high". But they ain;t gonna stop dead at error one. No way. The
best we can
hope for is the XML structure version of Dr. Watson or some Wizardy thing.
This is okay isn;t it? This is what the mass market want. If XML is going
to be mass market we have gotta accept this. Don't we?

>>As I said in a previous post, I can think of a number of useful apps that
>>can work sensibly with broken XML. I think the problem with M and N 
>>is that there is no way to say "warnings = high" and get told 
>>about WF problems.

>that's one problem. The other is that failing to utilize the facilities
>available leads to atrophy
If the market fails to utilise the facilities then the market does not
*want* the
facilities. You cannot buck the market. (Lord knows I have tried and failed!)

> We've already seen the direction things have
>taken which could have been rather different if HTML had been implemented
>in full (see what I said at SGML'95). 

SGML/XMLers have, quite understandably a number of gripes with html but lets
face facts. The thing is a runaway success. User friendly UA's are a
contributory
part of that success. No big infrastructure in any industry is looked upon
by its
architects as clean and impossible-to-improve-on. Railway systems, telephone
wiring
systems etc. all grow organically. The cannot just be ripped up and re-done
from scratcb.
So it is with the Web. Perhaps in ten years time ill formed HTML will be
provincial tracks with
the shuttles all on Well formed XML.

If the market did not see the compelling benefits of DTDs for HTML in UAs on
what basis
are we assuming they will for XML? In saying that DTD's are not required for
rendering
but Wellformedness is, are we not estabiishing a new validation watermark? Why
is this a "must"?

>If we have a wonderful XML Spec 
>which no browser implements all that much of, it ain't gonna fly.

I would expect that *browsers* will - quite sensibly - bend over backwards
to make the 
Web experience a pleasent one. Anything in the XML spec that forces an "in
your face" 
approach to error will not be considered responsive. However  non-browsing
XML apps - of which there will be thousands - may need to be rigourous about
WF just as they may need to be rigourous about DTD level validity.

Sean
Received on Sunday, 20 April 1997 04:20:38 EDT

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