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

Re: Sudden death: request for missing input

From: Bill Smith <bsmith@atlantic-82.Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 10:07:25 -0700 (PDT)
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <libSDtMail.9704301007.8931.bsmith@atlantic-82>
Tim Bray wrote:

> Neither <foo bar=baz> or <a><b></a> are XML; XML is simple enough that 
> there is a good probability that these, rather than author error, are the 
> result of a broken communication link or output filter.  The proper
> response to such breakage is prompt termination without extreme prejudice 
> but with a clear error signal.

Thus making it *illegal* to develop something like CheckMark. Who benefits
from the lack of such products? The user? I think not.

> [snip] I can see no
> scenario in which it is ever desirable to suppress a 
> well-formedness error message.

When a user interrupts an XML page transfer. Is it necessary to inform the
user in this case? 

When an XML processor interrupts a page transfer. Doesn't XML-Link allow
"auto-linking"? If so, is it a *requirement* that an XML browser parse all
XML pages in their entirety or is it acceptable to parse and display a 
portion of a page and follow an auto-link? If this is allowed, must the
application report a well-formedness error or must it continue to parse the
remainder of the "original" page to ensure well-formedness?

These seem like times that *I* might not want to receive error messages. What
has gone wrong in these circumstances that demands an error message? Nothing
as far as I can tell. The user is experiencing exactly what is *intended* by
a combination of the (possibly well-formed or valid) content and application.
I don't see an error here - reportable or otherwise.

> We went to a lot of work to make well-formedness easy.  It is a very 
> low bar to get over... much easier than producing valid HTML.  I 
> cannot for the life of me see why so many people here are willing to 
> tolerate gross error, and run the risk of another race-to-the-bottom a 
> la HTML, when the standard required to achieve reliable interoperability 
> is so easy to explain and to achieve.

I'm not advocating a race to the bottom. I'm advocating for the user and
acceptance of XML. I'm not convinced that users benefit by error messages
in all 
cases. Let the application vendors and the *users* decide.
Received on Wednesday, 30 April 1997 13:07:47 EDT

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