W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > May 2002

Re: New issue: error recovery practices (Re: Proposed TAG Finding: Internet Media Type registration, consistency of use)

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: 30 May 2002 11:45:33 -0400
To: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1022773534.829.3227.camel@localhost.localdomain>

On Thu, 2002-05-30 at 11:04, Al Gilman wrote:
> >Users are a lot more resilient and generally smarter than software in
> >having flexible responses to errors.  They also learn better.  I don't
> >think users would reject being interrupted provided that it worked like
> >a 404 rather than a "I don't understand this script so I'll give you
> >half the page".
> 
> In most cases the users are happy for the browser to 'upgrade' something which has an interpretation as HTML to HTML.  You and I are the exception, here.  I went into this a bit in my reply to Steven.
> 
> We need better accountability for erroneous HTTP headers and uncontrolled trangendering of documents by clients.  Accountability to content creators.  But we don't have the loops in the architecture for this yet.  It's all open-loop.

We need better accountability from developers creating these things. 
The only way that you are going to get such accountability is by
interfering with the user experience when the developer or the people
paying for the developers happen to be the users.  Those folks have
responsibility for the chain of events leading to the user receiving
information, even if the responsibility is distributed, and they WILL
jump if something is visibly wrong with the flow of information.

And sadly for the vendors, that means they need to get their act
together too.  The W3C seems to generally lack the stomach for this, but
XML and specs built on XML appear to show that it's at least possible in
a large number of cases.  Vendors are the reason the loop is presently
open.

I'm sorry, but I think your gentle feedback loop is the stuff of
fantasy, not a reasonable foundation for making the Web work as
advertised.

-- 
Simon St.Laurent
Ring around the content, a pocket full of brackets
Errors, errors, all fall down!
http://simonstl.com
Received on Thursday, 30 May 2002 11:40:13 UTC

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