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 14:48:55 +0100
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Message-id: <199704201348.OAA17542@curia.ucc.ie>
At 10:41 20/04/97 +0000, Peter M-R wrote:
[good expression of power and robustness of SGML in data management snipped]
[...]
[folding ID values to uppercase]
>Unfortunately, the author had no idea that ID was anything special and their
>database simply called this field 'ID'.  But no harm done... [Unfortunately,
>yes.  

This is like the user who called me (and probably 1,000 other help desks)
to say all his files had vanished from his new LINUX system. "What did
you do?" -- "I typed cd \;/bin/rm -rf * & because a friend told me it was
a useful command to know". Grrrr.

This is like the user who called me (and probably 1,000 other help desks)
to ask why his HTML colors were different from his friend's. He had typed
COLOR="#CZCZCZ" instead of C2C2C2. 

Where do we draw the line between being tolerant of small slippages, and
distorting the language for the benefit of the careless or foolish who
don't bother to equip themselves properly before they start (ie RTFM)?

>The positive thing is that sites are statrting to realise the value of 
>syntactically correct HTML and flagging these documents.  XML MUST be at least
>as brave as this.  Perhaps we can develop a W3C-XML stamp that can only be
>added to a document if it is at least WF.  

Arena has this little red widget that lights up when it hits HTML it
doesn't grok (not always invalid). I doubt M or N would do this, but 
perhaps someone else would.

///Peter
Received on Sunday, 20 April 1997 09:48:48 EDT

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