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 12:40:45 -0400
To: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <1022776845.807.3302.camel@localhost.localdomain>

On Thu, 2002-05-30 at 12:15, Keith Moore wrote:
> > So how exactly do you expect that to work in a browser context?  I don't
> > expect most developers would give a damn about errors like that winding
> > up in their server logs, and I'm still not sure I see the point.
> 
> perhaps not.  maybe we need a mechanism to report such errors to 
> advertisers who buy space on web pages.  :) 

Right - like they'll care either.

> the point is, right now there's essentially no feedback from the
> user/browser to the server at all.  if browsers were to provide 
> some, then at least the servers would have the option of looking 
> at it.  whether they would find it worth their while - in terms of
> increased effectiveness, ad money, lowered server/network overhead, 
> customer satisfaction, etc. - would be TBD.

There may not be feedback to the server, but browsers (and related apps)
provide plenty of feedback to developers and clients every single day. 
Look through the archives of Web developer mailing lists and you'll find
truckloads of discussion about in-browser testing, requests for help in
dealing with problems on different versions of browsers, complaining
about the difficulty of testing in multiple versions of Internet
Explorer on Windows (because new versions overwrite old), etc.

I don't think feedback sent to the server will accomplish much
(anything?) except increased log size.  The criteria for whether a
message works on the Web or not is very simple and very visual: look in
a browser.  Is it what you expected?  And advanced users go on to
multiple browsers.  A very few find validation useful. 

I guess I just spent way too much time maintaining machines running
every known flavor of browser on every kind of operating system
available, and spending lots and lots of time looking at pages over and
over to make sure they were consistent (enough).

Architects and engineers who specify tall buildings and then smile when
the contractor puts lots of extra sand in the concrete mix generally
don't stay in business very long.

-- 
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 12:35:24 UTC

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