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   Re: Non-Validating XML Parsers: Requirements

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  • From: John Cowan <cowan@locke.ccil.org>
  • To: XML Dev <xml-dev@ic.ac.uk>
  • Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 15:43:01 -0400

Michael Kay wrote:

> I don't know offhand what RFC 2119 says on the matter, and I
> haven't got time to look, but any set of rules that includes
> the term "may not" is liable to be misinterpreted by half
> its audience. When I am reviewing specifications, "may not"
> always gets a thumbs down.

*sigh*  I do wish people wouldn't review things without reading
them.  I happen to agree with you about MAY NOT, but that's
what RFC 2119 says.  The RFC is about 600 words long, BTW, and
here's a link:  http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc2119.txt .

> I don't much like "may" either. Everything is permitted
> unless the specification prohibits it, a sentence whose main
> verb is "may" therefore says nothing.

*Everything*?  So if a specification for a C compiler doesn't
*say* that compiling a strictly conforming program does *not*
make demons fly out of your nose, then the compiler is allowed
to do that?

John Cowan	http://www.ccil.org/~cowan		cowan@ccil.org
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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