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DWIM, Error handling, and standards

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:24:09 -0800
To: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C68CB012D9182D408CED7B884F441D4D1E400E0888@nambxv01a.corp.adobe.com>
Looking at my existing action items, 

ACTION-759: 
frame for telcon discussion possible TAG work relating to DWIM and Issue errorHandling-20"

I believe was initiated in response to the thread on Precision and error handling on www-tag, 
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-tag/2012Sep/0081.html

If there's interest in discussing this topic at the F2F:

The more complex the interface, and the more DWIM-ish it is, the more likely
  it is an attack surface for security loopholes, where new DWIM-ish features are 
  unevenly deployed, or new "corrections" adopted unevenly.

  This isn't as much of a problem for single vendor systems where the deployment
  process is single-threaded, but more likely to generate consistency problems when
  DWIM-like heuristic fixes are added to what is intended to be a precise spec

  But of the three choices:
     a. Mandate DWIM
     b. Allow DWIM
     c. Forbid DWIM

c isn't effective unless all the major implementors agree.
A is indistinguishable from b if standards conformance is voluntary.
For utility:

User point of view:  a > b > c
System/security point of view:   c > a > b

Larry (I didn't invent DWIM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DWIM)
--
http://larry.masinter.net
Received on Monday, 28 January 2013 22:24:55 GMT

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