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

Re: Error handling: yes, I did mean it

From: Lauren Wood <lauren@sqwest.bc.ca>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 20:20:48 -0800
Message-Id: <m0wJW8X-0009WSC@sqailor.sqwest.bc.ca>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
> From:          Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>

[leaving out the interesting comparison with the Cold War]

Lauren wrote:
> > But it isn't only the big browser companies who are interested in
> > this. I work for a company that makes an HTML editor based on an
> > SGML editor, and our most common user complaint is that we don't
> > treat documents the way a browser does. People use browsers to
> > "validate" their documents. If there is an agreed-upon behaviour,
> > then each company (including the big ones) will be able to point at a
> > specification which details agreed-upon behaviour, and say "we are
> > doing what we should be doing". 
> 
> You can do that now, Lauren. But who would care? Would a single customer
> reccommend HoTMetaL to his or her friends: "It chokes on a lot of
> documents that are fine in browsers, but I called tech support and they
> told me that the specification says that they are okay." Even if you
> could convince 1 in 100 users that the XML spec is relevant, 99 don't
> call. As far as the users are concerned, the browsers are the
> specification. This is an unfortunate market reality that we can't
> legislate out of existence.

That's actually not true. Lots of our customers come to us *because* 
we give them correct HTML. Those people who have applications where 
having the wrong data is serious come to us and use our editor. I am 
not expecting Joe HomePage to use XML; I think he is well served by 
HTML and has no need for something else. Obviously this doesn't cover 
everyone, and we do get complaints about how strict we are, but 
several customers have praised us for that same thing.

And yes, we have told customers that we do it the way the spec says, 
and mostly they accept that.
Lauren
Received on Monday, 21 April 1997 23:26:17 EDT

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