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

Re: Sudden death: request for missing input

From: altheim <altheim@mehitabel.Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 11:05:21 -0700 (PDT)
To: bsmith@atlantic-82.Eng.Sun.COM, tbray@textuality.com
Cc: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <libSDtMail.9704301105.24217.altheim@mehitabel>
Bill Smith <bsmith@atlantic-82.eng.sun.com> writes:
> Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com> wrote:
> > 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.

I don't think anyone is advocating tolerance for gross error, as we've all 
seen what that has done with HTML. I think some of us are simply trying to 
leave *exactly* what happens up to the vendors. Some sort of error 
notification is essential, but in certain applications the method of error
"recovery" may require sending the XML source on through, others sudden
death makes sense.

In a financial application, it may be that the actual user does not receive
the error message; it's sent on to central office where they send an error
message to the ATM. And "sudden death" seems to indicate that the central
office wouldn't receive the contents of the broken file even while the 
customer shouldn't. Point is, the wide variety of XML applications (some
with UI, some without) makes specific requirements on error handling more
a limiting factor in the specification than seems necessary.

Error notification is a "must", but *how* it is done is application-specific.
Error recovery is a "maybe", depending on the application.


Murray Altheim, SGML Grease Monkey                    <altheim@eng.sun.com>
Member of Technical Staff, Tools Development & Support
Sun Microsystems, 2550 Garcia Ave., MS UMPK17-102, Menlo Park, CA 94043 USA
         "Give a monkey the tools and he'll build a typewriter."
Received on Wednesday, 30 April 1997 14:05:47 UTC

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