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Re: ERB votes on error handling

From: Peter Flynn <pflynn@curia.ucc.ie>
Date: 07 May 1997 23:27:49 +0100
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
Message-id: <199705072227.XAA24311@curia.ucc.ie>
At 11:32 07/05/97 -0700, you wrote:
>The ERB met on May 7th.  All members were present in person or by
>proxy.  The chief subject under discussion was error handling; 

This is excellent news, Tim, thanks.

>1. WF-ness may not be as easy to check as I have been claiming -
>getting the grammar right for a complex ATTLIST inside an INCLUDed
>marked section is nontrivial.  

Unfortunately the spec is obscure on the very ability of a WF doc
to possess an ATTLIST. Does anyone have an example of where it goes?

>3. In fact, everyone on the ERB substantially agrees with M&N's 
>goal, in that we do not, ever, want an XML user-agent to encounter
>a WF error and proceed as though everything were OK.  Our disagreements
>centre on how to use the spec machinery to achieve this.
>
>4. We're not worried that XML editors will silently recover from errors,

I don't believe we can expect any significant advances in browser
error-handling until we see some editors. One of the most important
reasons for current HTML browsers' need to handle so many errors is the
low quality of HTML produced by the average homebrew homepager, whether
or not they are corporate or private. 

The content providers will define the standard of XML in circulation,
based on the quality of XML produced by their editors. Right now we're back
at square 1 where we were in 1991, editing largely by hand in character
editors without parsed assistance (well, mostly). So mistakes which creep
in now will acquire the status of "things people do which browsers need to
accept and get on with".

Or is this unduly pessimistic?

///Peter
Received on Wednesday, 7 May 1997 18:39:30 UTC

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