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Re: nested comments [was: Ticket 162, was: Ambiguity in ABNF for comment]

From: David Morris <dwm@xpasc.com>
Date: Sun, 3 May 2009 23:24:46 -0700 (PDT)
cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0905032313220.3595@egate.xpasc.com>

At this stage, its gonna be pretty hard to discourage ... given the amount 
of programming in this space done by example. I'm not convinced that the
User Agent header is parsed in this fashion ... I suspect that most/all
servers do something like find the first non-whitespace following the 
colon and take everything through the last non-whitespace before the end 
of the line. So the user-agent header may not be the best example, but
I think deprecating nesting would be inviting future breakage when a
recipient decides that deprecated means they don't have to accept the
construct some number of years from now.

Having grown up on languages which allow nested comments, I find the 
concept useful and natural and find it frustrating when comments don't 
nest. So I'd rather just let them be.

Dave Morris

On Mon, 4 May 2009, Mark Nottingham wrote:

> A pity. Is discouraging this in future implementations a bad thing?
> On 04/05/2009, at 3:49 PM, Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:
>> * Mark Nottingham wrote:
>>> I've never seen an nested comment, and agree that they're nasty to
>>> handle.
>> I have plenty of those in my logs, for example, in the User-Agent
>> header,
>> Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686 (x86_64); en-US; rv:
>>   Gecko/2009032811 Iceweasel/3.0.7
>> GoogleEarth/5.0.11337.1968(Windows;Microsoft Windows Vista
>>   (Service Pack 0);no;kml:2.2;client:Free;type:default)
>> Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0;
>>   GTB5; Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; ...
>> -- Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern@hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
>> Am Badedeich 7 · Telefon: +49(0)160/4415681 · http://www.bjoernsworld.de
>> 25899 Dagebüll · PGP Pub. KeyID: 0xA4357E78 · http://www.websitedev.de/
> --
> Mark Nottingham     http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Monday, 4 May 2009 06:25:27 UTC

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