W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > April 1997

Re: Error handling in XML

From: Peter Flynn <pflynn@curia.ucc.ie>
Date: 20 Apr 1997 14:22:13 +0100
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Message-id: <199704201322.OAA17452@curia.ucc.ie>
At 08:57 20/04/97 +0100, Sean wrote:
>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?

Yes, or alternatively we could try to persuade editor authors to get
XML file creation done up so well that invalid instances are a rarity.

It should not be impossible to write an editor which would let you
create elements on the fly and guarantee a well-formed file, complete
with links to the stylesheet (which acts in effect as a DTD for the editor).
Think of an AF editor.

>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!)

But if you never let the market see the facilities in the first place
then you haven't even tried (I don't mean you personally, I mean "one"). 
I'm not talking about people who have 
put out products which _do_ contain the facilities, which the market
then rejects: I'm talking about the fact that there are things in 
HTML which no browser ever tried in the first place, so the market never
even got the chance to reject them: it never knew they existed. It
simply is not a case of the market rejecting them.

We run the same risk with XML. But I think that's inevitable.
I'll stick my neck out right now and say I suspect that XML
files will never generally be either well-formed or valid. The vast
majority of them will contain the same stew as HTML: only a few people
will be creating valid or WF files. But that shouldn't stop us trying.

Users want to see real, concrete benefits _immediately_, if they
are to turn aside from the Avernus of HTML. 

>SGML/XMLers have, quite understandably a number of gripes with html but lets
>face facts. The thing is a runaway success. 

Absolutely. But it's not HTML which is the runaway success, it's just
the interface.

>Perhaps in ten years time ill formed HTML will be
>provincial tracks with
>the shuttles all on Well formed XML.

I genuinely hope to buy you a pint in 2007 if this happens :-)

///Peter
Received on Sunday, 20 April 1997 09:22:06 EDT

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