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Re: EOT-Lite File Format

From: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 2009 14:58:39 +1200
Message-ID: <11e306600907301958y6b2aca0er470709fc368d33a5@mail.gmail.com>
To: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Cc: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>, Sylvain Galineau <sylvaing@microsoft.com>, "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>, www-font <www-font@w3.org>
On Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 12:26 PM, Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net> wrote:

> The maxim "Be tolerant in what you receive, strict in what
> you transmit" applies here.

On the Web, content is produced to suit what Web browsers do, not what specs
say. Thus, wherever Web browsers differ in their "tolerance",
interoperability problems arise. If the spec says the rootstring SHOULD be
null, but many Web authors only test with "tolerant" browsers that accept
non-null rootstrings, and authoring tools sometimes create non-null
rootstrings, then pages will proliferate with non-null rootstrings and all
browsers will be forced to tolerate them. The de-facto standard overrides
the de jure standard, and the de jure standard would be better to reflect
reality by saying that browsers MUST accept (but ignore) non-null

So, saying the rootstring SHOULD be null has no value. The spec could say
the rootstring MUST be null, in which case we must ensure major browsers
strictly check that, or the real world will diverge from the spec. Otherwise
the spec should be silent about the null-ness of the rootstring.

Generally in Web specs "SHOULD" requirements indicate a looming
interoperability problem.

"He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are
healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his
own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." [Isaiah
Received on Friday, 31 July 2009 02:59:20 UTC

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