Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute

James Aylett (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 13:18:24 +0000 (GMT)

Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 13:18:24 +0000 (GMT)
From: James Aylett <>
To: Benjamin Franz <>
cc: "Kevin 'Kev' Hughes" <>,
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR TEXTAREA WRAP attribute
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 12 Nov 1996, Benjamin Franz wrote:

> > Hence your CGI program must be able to cope with splitting and wrapping
> > itself. You simply can't make assumptions about how the data is presented
> > to you; you've simply *got* to check your input for validity before you do
> > anything with it.
> Sure you have to validity check your data. *But you have to do that
> *anyway*. No change in status. That is a null argument. 'You would have to 
> do what you do anyway'. BUT - you have greatly improved the odds of the
> data *already* being valid when you recieve it and reduced the chance of
> the CGI doing something *unexpected to the user* due to invalid data.

That's only a partly fair point, as far as I'm concerned. If a CGI program
can't cope with something which 8% of the population might throw at it,
it's effectively useless - especially since dealing with a single unsplit
line is so trivial. At this level of validation it is perfectly possible
to write a parser which will never do anything unexpected, unless you
start doing horrible things with the semantics of the data (in which case
there are better ways of approaching things).


  James Aylett - Crystal Services ( BBS, Ftp and Web
     Clare College, Cambridge, CB2 1TL -- -- (0976) 212023