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Re: Comments on HTML WG face to face meetings in France Oct 08

From: Elliotte Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 22:03:47 -0800
Message-ID: <49210943.6010400@metalab.unc.edu>
To: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>
Cc: "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com, Dean Edridge <dean@dean.org.nz>, public-html <public-html@w3.org>, www-tag@w3.org

Jonas Sicking wrote:

> Several people has asked for a spec without error handling. I'm not
> sure why defining error handling is considered a bad thing. Is it
> because people are worried that by defining error handling people will
> rely on it, whereas people shouldn't rely on undefined behavior so if
> we don't define error handling then people won't rely on it?

Yes. Error handling is fine. Error correction is much more problematic. 
It makes the spec far harder to understand and implement. In essence, 
the path taken by HTML 5 is that there is no such thing as a document 
which is in error. All byte streams become legal HTML documents. That's 
not how they phrase it, but that's the effect.

It's an interesting idea, and might even work (though I'm skeptical) but 
it very much raises the bar for implementing parsers, and is contrary to 
the design of XML at a very deep level. In essence, it is a fundamental 
rejection of one of the core values of XML. It is the polar opposite of 
draconian error handling.

-- 
Elliotte Rusty Harold  elharo@metalab.unc.edu
Refactoring HTML Just Published!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0321503635/ref=nosim/cafeaulaitA
Received on Monday, 17 November 2008 06:04:25 GMT

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