W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org > May 1997

Final words, I think, on error handling

From: Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>
Date: Tue, 06 May 1997 17:53:00 -0700
Message-Id: <3.0.32.19970506175258.009fd4c0@pop.intergate.bc.ca>
To: w3c-sgml-wg@w3.org
For what it's worth, all of the arguments that have been raised
here have been hashed out vociferously in the ERB.  It is a bit odd;
on no other issue has there been so little meeting of minds.  I think
that the draconians and the tolerants really do understand each
others' positions, and at the same time can't fathom why each other
can possibly think the way they do.

I think that I am speaking fairly for the tolerants when I say that from 
their point of view, the draconian policy 
 - flies in the face of SGML practice, 
 - penalizes users for the sins of information producers, 
 - is unenforceable, 
 - can't be right in the face of all possible errors, because no single
   policy can, and
 - makes "conformant editor" an oxymoron.

I think I am speaking fairly for the draconians when I say that from
our point of view, it works because
 - well-formedness is so easy that it isn't a significant burden on anyone,
 - well-formedness is so much cheaper than compensating for its lack that 
   compensation can never be a good trade-off,
 - 15 minutes after the draconian browsers ship, everyone 
   will have forgotten gratefully about the bad old days, and 
 - the formal conformance of editors themselves isn't interesting, just 
   the conformance of their output.

Bottom line: we aren't going to convince each other on this one.
 - Tim
Received on Tuesday, 6 May 1997 20:54:41 UTC

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